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Forests, Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Species Composition of Elms (Ulmus spp.) in Poland
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111008 (registering DOI) - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
In nearly 600 randomly selected forest stands including elms (Ulmus spp.), we conducted field research to identify them to species level and to find trees showing symptoms of Dutch elm disease (DED). The presented data show that all the 3 native elms [...] Read more.
In nearly 600 randomly selected forest stands including elms (Ulmus spp.), we conducted field research to identify them to species level and to find trees showing symptoms of Dutch elm disease (DED). The presented data show that all the 3 native elms (U. glabra, U. laevis, and U. minor) still exist in the whole ranges of their distribution in Poland reported earlier, but their role as forest-forming species has changed. In comparison to published data, the contribution of U. minor has markedly decreased, while an increased contribution was observed in the case of U. laevis, a species which in the past was predominantly located out of woodland and was rarely cultivated. In mountains, where the most frequent is U. glabra, the contribution of elms to forest stands is currently clearly lower than in the lowlands and uplands of Poland. The observed changes most probably result from Dutch elm disease. It cannot be excluded that the changes are at least partly linked with natural correction of forest stand composition modified earlier by human activity (silviculture). In all parts of Poland, trees with symptoms of Dutch elm disease are found, but large-scale decline (of a majority of elm trees) is observed only in about 1.5% of the directly investigated localities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forest Phenology Dynamics to Climate Change and Topography in a Geographic and Climate Transition Zone: The Qinling Mountains in Central China
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111007 (registering DOI) - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
Forest ecosystems in an ecotone and their dynamics to climate change are growing ecological and environmental concerns. Phenology is one of the most critical biological indicators of climate change impacts on forest dynamics. In this study, we estimated and visualized the spatiotemporal patterns [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystems in an ecotone and their dynamics to climate change are growing ecological and environmental concerns. Phenology is one of the most critical biological indicators of climate change impacts on forest dynamics. In this study, we estimated and visualized the spatiotemporal patterns of forest phenology from 2001 to 2017 in the Qinling Mountains (QMs) based on the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We further analyzed this data to reveal the impacts of climate change and topography on the start of the growing season (SOS), end of the growing season (EOS), and the length of growing season (LOS). Our results showed that forest phenology metrics were very sensitive to changes in elevation, with a 2.4 days delayed SOS, 1.4 days advanced EOS, and 3.8 days shortened LOS for every 100 m increase in altitude. During the study period, on average, SOS advanced by 0.13 days year−1, EOS was delayed by 0.22 days year−1, and LOS increased by 0.35 day year−1. The phenological advanced and delayed speed across different elevation is not consistent. The speed of elevation-induced advanced SOS increased slightly with elevation, and the speed of elevation-induced delayed EOS shift reached a maximum value of 1500 m from 2001 to 2017. The sensitivity of SOS and EOS to preseason temperature displays that an increase of 1 °C in the regionally averaged preseason temperature would advance the average SOS by 1.23 days and delay the average EOS by 0.72 days, respectively. This study improved our understanding of the recent variability of forest phenology in mountain ecotones and explored the correlation between forest phenology and climate variables in the context of the ongoing climate warming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Combined Role of Retention Pattern and Post-Harvest Site Preparation in Regulating Plant Functional Diversity: A Case Study in Boreal Forest Ecosystems
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111006 (registering DOI) - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
Changes in the light availability in forests generated by diversified retention patterns (e.g., clear cut, partial harvest) have been shown to strongly filter the plant species present. Modified soil microsite conditions due to post-harvest site preparation (e.g., mechanical site preparation, prescribed fire) might [...] Read more.
Changes in the light availability in forests generated by diversified retention patterns (e.g., clear cut, partial harvest) have been shown to strongly filter the plant species present. Modified soil microsite conditions due to post-harvest site preparation (e.g., mechanical site preparation, prescribed fire) might also be an important determinant of plant diversity. The objective here was to detect how retention pattern and post-harvest site preparation act as filters that explain the understory functional diversity in boreal forests. We also assessed whether these effects were dependent on forest attributes (stand type, time since fire, and time since harvest). We retrieved data from seven different studies within 101 sites in boreal forests in Eastern Canada. Our data included forests harvested with two retention patterns: careful logging and clear cut, plus unharvested control forests. Three post-harvest site preparation techniques were applied: plow or disk trenching after careful logging, and prescribed fire after clear cut. We collected trait data (10 traits) representing plant morphology, regeneration strategy, or resource utilization for common species. Our results demonstrated significant variation in functional diversity after harvest. The combined effect of retention pattern and site preparation was the most important factor explaining understory diversity compared to retention pattern only and forest attributes. According to RLQ analysis, harvested forests with site preparation favored traits reflecting resistance or resilience ability after disturbance (clonal guerilla species, geophytes, and species with higher seed weight). Yet harvested forests without site preparation mainly affected understory plant species via their light requirements. Forest attributes did not play significant roles in affecting the relationship between site preparation and functional diversity or traits. Our results indicated the importance of the compounding effects of light variation and soil disturbance in filtering understory diversity and composition in boreal forests. Whether these results are also valid for other ecosystems still needs to be demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Functional Response of Soil Microbial Community along Chronosequence of Spontaneous Succession on Post Mining Forest Sites Evaluated by Biolog and SIR Methods
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111005 (registering DOI) - 11 Nov 2019
Abstract
Soil formation in post-mining sites is crucial for restoring ecosystem function, and soil formation depend on the accumulation of soil organic matter and the development of an active microbial community. In this study, we used substrate-induced respiration (SIR) and Biolog plates to characterize [...] Read more.
Soil formation in post-mining sites is crucial for restoring ecosystem function, and soil formation depend on the accumulation of soil organic matter and the development of an active microbial community. In this study, we used substrate-induced respiration (SIR) and Biolog plates to characterize microbial catabolic profiles in a chronosequence of soil samples from 15 unreclaimed post-mining sites in Sokolov, Czech Republic. The sites had been undergoing spontaneous succession for 3 to 45 years. Biolog ECO plates included 31 substrates. Of substrates used for SIR (glucose, chitin, cellulose, Tween 80, phenylethylamine, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, L-asparagine, D-mannitol, D-galacturonic acid, α-cyclodextrin, and 4-hydroxy benzoic acid), eight were also used for the Biolog plates. Soil respiration, total bacteria number, and culturable bacteria number were also measured. The total and culturable number of bacteria increased with site age (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). The percentage of culturable bacteria decreased with site age (p < 0.01). Biolog analysis indicated that average well-color development (AWCD), evenness, and richness increased with site age. SIR data indicated that only average activities tended to increase with site age (p = 0.06). According to redundancy analysis (RDA), the eight substrates, which were commonly used in both methods (SIR and BIOLOG) explained 74.4% of the variation of data from all Biolog substrates. Among the eight substrates common to both methods, only data for N-acetyl-D-glucosamine were positively correlated (p < 0.01) between Biolog and SIR. Both methods revealed microbial catabolic profile changed along the chronosequence. PCA indicated that site age, soil carbon, and pH were the most important drivers of microbial catabolic profiles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimating Forest Aboveground Carbon Storage in Hang-Jia-Hu Using Landsat TM/OLI Data and Random Forest Model
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111004 (registering DOI) - 09 Nov 2019
Abstract
Dynamic monitoring of carbon storage in forests resources is important for tracking ecosystem functionalities and climate change impacts. In this study, we used multi-year Landsat data combined with a Random Forest (RF) algorithm to estimate the forest aboveground carbon (AGC) in a forest [...] Read more.
Dynamic monitoring of carbon storage in forests resources is important for tracking ecosystem functionalities and climate change impacts. In this study, we used multi-year Landsat data combined with a Random Forest (RF) algorithm to estimate the forest aboveground carbon (AGC) in a forest area in China (Hang-Jia-Hu) and analyzed its spatiotemporal changes during the past two decades. Maximum likelihood classification was applied to make land-use maps. Remote sensing variables, such as the spectral band, vegetation indices, and derived texture features, were extracted from 20 Landsat TM and OLI images over five different years (2000, 2004, 2010, 2015, and 2018). These variables were subsequently selected according to their importance and subsequently used in the RF algorithm to build an estimation model of forest AGC. The results showed the following: (1) Verification of classification results showed maximum likelihood can extract land information effectively. Our land cover classification yielded overall accuracies between 86.86% and 89.47%. (2) Additionally, our RF models showed good performance in predicting forest AGC, with R2 from 0.65 to 0.73 in the training and testing phase and a RMSE range between 3.18 and 6.66 Mg/ha. RMSEr in the testing phase ranged from 20.27 to 22.27 with a low model error. (3) The estimation results indicated that forest AGC in the past two decades increased with density at 10.14 Mg/ha, 21.63 Mg/ha, 26.39 Mg/ha, 29.25 Mg/ha, and 44.59 Mg/ha in 2000, 2004, 2010, 2015, and 2018. The total forest AGC storage had a growth rate of 285%. (4) Our study showed that, although forest area decreased in the study area during the time period under study, the total forest AGC increased due to an increment in forest AGC density. However, such an effect is overridden in the vicinity of cities by intense urbanization and the loss of forest covers. Our study demonstrated that the combined use of remote sensing data and machine learning techniques can improve our ability to track the forest changes in support of regional natural resource management practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity of Understory Communities in Boreal Forests: Influences of Forest Type, Latitude, and Spatial Scale
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111003 (registering DOI) - 09 Nov 2019
Abstract
Understory vegetation hosts high biodiversity and plays a critical role in the ecosystem processes of boreal forests. However, the drivers of understory plant diversity in this high-latitude ecosystem remain uncertain. To investigate the influences of forest type and latitude on understory beta diversity [...] Read more.
Understory vegetation hosts high biodiversity and plays a critical role in the ecosystem processes of boreal forests. However, the drivers of understory plant diversity in this high-latitude ecosystem remain uncertain. To investigate the influences of forest type and latitude on understory beta diversity at different scales, we quantified the species composition of Vaccinium uliginosum Linnaeus communities under broadleaf and coniferous forests at two latitudes at the quadrat (2 × 2 m) and plot (10 × 10 m) scales in the Greater Xing’an Mountains, NE China. At the quadrat scale, species alpha diversity of V. uliginosum communities was higher in broadleaf forests than that in coniferous forests at both latitudes. The differences in species beta diversity (the Sørensen’s dissimilarity) in two forest types depended on the latitude: beta diversity in broadleaf forests was higher than that in coniferous forests at the higher latitude, while beta diversity in coniferous forests was higher at the lower latitude. At the plot scale, alpha and beta diversity of V. uliginosum communities decreased from broadleaf forests to coniferous forests at the higher latitude, and they did not show significant differences between forest types at the lower latitude. These results indicate the interactive effects of forest type and latitude on beta diversity of understory vegetation. Moreover, the influences of forest type and latitude on species alpha and beta diversity were different across the two spatial scales, suggesting that the assembly mechanisms underlying species diversity may be different at different scales. Understanding the maintenance of understory vegetation diversity will benefit the conservation and management of boreal forests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Response of Four Tree Species to Changing Climate in a Moisture-Limited Area of South Siberia
Forests 2019, 10(11), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110999 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
The response of vegetation to climate change is of special interest in regions where rapid warming is coupled with moisture deficit. This raises the question of the limits in plants’ acclimation ability and the consequent shifts of the vegetation cover. Radial growth dynamics [...] Read more.
The response of vegetation to climate change is of special interest in regions where rapid warming is coupled with moisture deficit. This raises the question of the limits in plants’ acclimation ability and the consequent shifts of the vegetation cover. Radial growth dynamics and climatic response were studied in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Siberian larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.), and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) in the forest-steppe, and for Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila L.) in the steppe of South Siberia, as indicators of vegetation state and dynamics. Climate–growth relationships were analyzed by the following two approaches: (1) correlations between tree-ring width chronologies and short-term moving climatic series, and (2) optimization of the parameters of the Vaganov–Shashkin tree growth simulation model to assess the ecophysiological characteristics of species. Regional warming was accompanied by a slower increase of the average moisture deficit, but not in the severity of droughts. In the forest-steppe, the trees demonstrated stable growth and responded to the May–July climate. In the steppe, elm was limited by moisture deficit in May–beginning of June, during the peak water deficit. The forest-steppe stands were apparently acclimated successfully to the current climatic trends. It seems that elm was able to counter the water deficit, likely through its capacity to regulate transpiration by the stomatal morphology and xylem structure, using most of the stem as a water reservoir; earlier onset; and high growth rate, and these physiological traits may provide advantages to this species, leading to its expansion in steppes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radial Tree-Ring Traits Variation in Relation to Climate Factors)
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Open AccessArticle
Interactive Effects of Stock Type and Forest Vegetation Management Treatments on Douglas-Fir Seedling Growth and Survival—Ten-Year Results
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111002 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the Pacific Northwest, the use of forest vegetation management (FVM) and seedling stock type selection are important tools to ensure seedling establishment according to organizational objectives and state laws. Individually, these two reforestation decisions have been shown to increase growth and survival [...] Read more.
In the Pacific Northwest, the use of forest vegetation management (FVM) and seedling stock type selection are important tools to ensure seedling establishment according to organizational objectives and state laws. Individually, these two reforestation decisions have been shown to increase growth and survival of Douglas-fir seedlings, however, the interaction between seedling stock type and level of vegetation control represents economic and ecologic tradeoffs that are less well understood. This study was designed to test the combined effects of three FVM regimes and three containerized stock types, one of which was experimental at the time, on Douglas-fir growth during the initial ten years of establishment on a site near Belfair, Washington (USA). When compared to the no-action control, FVM treatments reduced competitive plant cover below 20% during the year of application, and differences in vegetation cover persisted through the fifth growing season. Vegetation species diversity recovered quickly after FVM and there were no differences among the treatments by the third growing season. After ten growing seasons, trees in plots treated with FVM were 1.1 m taller with a mean diameter at breast height (DBH) 2.2 cm larger than those in the no-action control. Larger seedlings at the time of planting (styro-60) were 0.6 m taller with a mean DBH 1.1 cm larger than smaller seedlings (styro-8 and styro-15). The only significant stock type by FVM interaction in the experiment occurred with the survival of styro-60 seedlings growing in the no action control which had lower survival than all other treatment combinations (67% vs 91%). The long-term competitive impact of shrub cover was demonstrated by a strong non-linear relationship. Increasing cumulative shrub cover from 10% to 30% during the first two years of establishment reduced stand volume at year 10 by 79%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intensive Silviculture)
Open AccessArticle
Phosphorus Availabilities Differ between Cropland and Forestland in Shelterbelt Systems
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111001 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Shelterbelt systems play pivotal roles in providing goods and services to the rural community and the society at large, but phosphorus (P) cycling in shelterbelt systems is poorly studied, while P cycling and availability would be linked to the ecological function and services [...] Read more.
Shelterbelt systems play pivotal roles in providing goods and services to the rural community and the society at large, but phosphorus (P) cycling in shelterbelt systems is poorly studied, while P cycling and availability would be linked to the ecological function and services of shelterbelt systems. This study was conducted to understand how long-term (>30 years) land-use between cropland and forestland in shelterbelt systems affect soil P status. We investigated modified Kelowna (PKelowna) and Mehlich-3 (PMehlich) extractable P, P fractions (by sequential chemical fractionation), P sorption properties in the 0–10 and 10–30 cm soils and their relationship in six pairs of the cropland areas and adjacent forestland (each pair constitutes a shelterbelt system) in central Alberta. Both PKelowna and PMehlich in the 0–10 cm soil were greater in the cropland than in the forestland. The PKelowna ranged from 10 to 170 and 2 to 57 mg kg−1 within the cropland areas and forestland, respectively. The inorganic P fraction in the 0–30 cm depth was significantly related to PKelowna (R2 = 0.55) and PMehlich (R2 = 0.80) in cropland, but organic P fraction was not significantly related with neither PKelowna nor PMehlich. The iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) associated P (Fe/Al-P) explained ~50% and ~45% of the variation of PKelowna in the 0–30 cm soil in the cropland and forestland, respectively. The Fe/Al-P and organic P fractions in the 0–10 cm soil were greater in the cropland than in the forestland. The differences in availability and P forms depending on the land use type in shelterbelts suggest that P management needs to be land-use type-specific for shelterbelt systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural and Comparative Analysis of the Complete Chloroplast Genome of a Mangrove Plant: Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Gaertn. f. and Related Rubiaceae Species
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111000 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Gaertn. f. (Rubiaceae) is an endangered mangrove species found in China, and its only known location is in Hainan Island. Previous studies conducted on S. hydrophyllaceae have mainly focused on its location, biological characteristics, and medical effects. However, to date, there [...] Read more.
Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea Gaertn. f. (Rubiaceae) is an endangered mangrove species found in China, and its only known location is in Hainan Island. Previous studies conducted on S. hydrophyllaceae have mainly focused on its location, biological characteristics, and medical effects. However, to date, there has been no published report regarding the genetics or genome of this endangered mangrove species. In this study, we developed valuable chloroplast genome-related molecular resources of S. hydrophyllaceae by comparing with it related Rubiaceae species. The chloroplast genome of S. hydrophyllaceae was found to be a circular molecule with a total size of 155,132 bp, and it is observed to have a quadripartite structure. The whole chloroplast genome contains 132 genes, of which 88 and 36 are protein-coding and transfer RNA genes, respectively; it also contains four ribosomal RNA genes with an overall GC content of 37.60%. A total of 52 microsatellites were detected in the S. hydrophyllacea chloroplast genome, and microsatellite marker detection identified A/T mononucleotides as majority simple sequence repeats in all nine Rubiaceae chloroplast genomes. Comparative analyses of these nine chloroplast genomes revealed variable regions, including matK, rps16, and atpF. All nine species shared 13 RNA-editing sites distributed across eight coding genes. Phylogenetic analyses based on the complete sequences of the chloroplast genomes revealed that the position of S. hydrophyllaceae is closer to the Coffeeae genus than to Cinchoneae, Naucleeae, Morindeae, and Rubieae in the Rubiaceae family. The genome information reported in this study could find further application in the evolution and population genetic studies, and it helps improve our understanding of the endangered mechanism and the development of conservation strategies of this endangered mangrove plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Temperature, Wind, Cloud, and the Postglacial Tree Line History of Sub-Antarctic Campbell Island
Forests 2019, 10(11), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110998 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
Campbell Island, which is 600 km south of New Zealand, has the southernmost tree line in this ocean sector. Directly under the maximum of the westerlies, the island is sensitive to changes in wind strength and direction. Pollen records from three peat cores [...] Read more.
Campbell Island, which is 600 km south of New Zealand, has the southernmost tree line in this ocean sector. Directly under the maximum of the westerlies, the island is sensitive to changes in wind strength and direction. Pollen records from three peat cores spanning the tree line ecotone provide a 17,000-year history of vegetation change, temperature, and site moisture. With postglacial warming, tundra was replaced by tussock grassland 12,500 years ago. A subsequent increase of shrubland was reversed at 10,500 years ago and wetland-grassland communities became dominant. Around 9000 years ago, trees spread, with maximum tree line elevation reached around 6500 to 3000 years ago. This sequence is out of step with Southern Ocean sea surface temperatures, which were warmer than 12,500 to 9000 years ago, and, subsequently, cooled. Campbell Island tree lines were decoupled from temperature trends in the adjacent ocean by weaker westerlies from 12,500 to 9000 years ago, which leads to the intrusion of warmer, cloudier northern airmasses. This reduced solar radiation and evapotranspiration while increasing atmospheric humidity and substrate wetness, which suppressed tree growth. Cooler, stronger westerlies in the Holocene brought clearer skies, drier air, increased evapotranspiration, and rising tree lines. Future global warming will not necessarily lead to rising tree lines in oceanic regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alpine and Polar Treelines in a Changing Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimated Sediment Protection Efficiences for Increasing Levels of Best Management Practices on Forest Harvests in the Piedmont, USA
Forests 2019, 10(11), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110997 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
In-stream watershed level evaluations confirm that application of recommended forestry best management practices (BMPs) can minimize sedimentation following management, while on-site erosion research shows that BMPs reduce erosion from individual forest operations, thus implying watershed-level sediment reductions. Assessments of forest operations and sediment [...] Read more.
In-stream watershed level evaluations confirm that application of recommended forestry best management practices (BMPs) can minimize sedimentation following management, while on-site erosion research shows that BMPs reduce erosion from individual forest operations, thus implying watershed-level sediment reductions. Assessments of forest operations and sediment have developed very few sediment delivery ratios (SDR). Linking BMP levels (low, standard recommendation, high) within specific forest operations to sedimentation could enable managers to evaluate BMP effects. Reported data regarding forest operations, erosion rates and SDR by forest operation, and BMP implementation levels were sufficient within the Piedmont region to allow approximations of sediment delivery and BMP efficiency. Existing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service reports and published erosion and sediment research were used to comprise the following method. For regional annual harvests, estimated sediment deliveries (Mg year−1) = annual harvest area (ha year−1) × weighted average erosion rate from all forest operations (Mg ha−1 year−1) × SDR (unitless ratio). Weighted average erosion rates for all forest operations were determined by applying areas in each operational activity (%) × estimated erosion per operation (Mg ha−1 year−1). In comparing published data, standard BMPs reduced estimated sedimentation by 75% compared to low BMP implementation levels. This supports forestry BMP efficiency findings reported for sediment removals in watershed studies. Higher levels of BMP implementation were estimated to potentially remove nearly all forest operation-produced sediment. Values of this pilot study should be viewed cautiously, as estimates were based on limited data, estimated operations, and limited SDRs; are based on BMP categories that vary between states; and address only one year following harvests. However, the approach provided approximations that facilitate BMP evaluations and can be improved with additional data. This methodology highlights the importance of accurate estimates of erosion rates, SDRs, sediment masses, and area for operations. This supports the importance of state programs, which have increased BMP implementation rates and compliance options with BMP program maturation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessPerspective
Wood Moisture-Induced Swelling at the Cellular Scale—Ab Intra
Forests 2019, 10(11), 996; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110996 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
Wood, a complex hierarchical material, continues to be widely used as a resource to meet humankind’s material needs, in addition to providing inspiration for the development of new biomimetic materials. However, for wood to meet its full potential, researchers must overcome the challenge [...] Read more.
Wood, a complex hierarchical material, continues to be widely used as a resource to meet humankind’s material needs, in addition to providing inspiration for the development of new biomimetic materials. However, for wood to meet its full potential, researchers must overcome the challenge of understanding its fundamental moisture-related properties across its many levels of hierarchy spanning from the molecular scale up to the bulk wood level. In this perspective, a review of recent research on wood moisture-induced swelling and shrinking is presented from the molecular level to the cellular scale. Numerous aspects of swelling and shrinking in wood remain poorly understood, sub-cellular phenomena in particular, because it can be difficult to study them experimentally. Here, we discuss recent research endeavors at each of the relevant length scales, including the molecular, cellulose elementary fibril, secondary cell wall layer nanostructure, cell wall, cell, and cellular levels. At each length scale, we provide a discussion on the current knowledge and suggestions for future research. The potential impacts of moisture-induced swelling pressures on experimental observations of swelling and shrinking in wood at different length scales are also recognized and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood-Moisture Relations)
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Transcriptome Analysis Revealed the Effects of the Light Quality, Light Intensity, and Photoperiod on Phlorizin Accumulation in Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110995 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd. is an important medicinal plant species grown in southern China, with phlorizin as its main active substance. The effects of light conditions on phlorizin biosynthesis in L. polystachyus remain unclear. Thus, we analyzed the transcriptomes of L. polystachyus plants cultivated [...] Read more.
Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd. is an important medicinal plant species grown in southern China, with phlorizin as its main active substance. The effects of light conditions on phlorizin biosynthesis in L. polystachyus remain unclear. Thus, we analyzed the transcriptomes of L. polystachyus plants cultivated under diverse light qualities, light intensities, and photoperiods. The light treatments resulted in 5977–8027 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which were functionally annotated based on the gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. Genes encoding transcription factors from 89 families were differentially expressed after the light treatments, implying these transcription factors are photoresponsive. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL) are the key enzymes for the accumulation of phlorizin. The transcription levels of PAL2, PAL, 4CL1 (DN121614), 4CLL7, and 4CL1 (DN102161) were positively correlated with phlorizin accumulation, suggesting that these genes are important for phlorizin biosynthesis. An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography method was used to quantify the phlorizin content. Phlorizin accumulated in response to the green light treatment and following appropriate decreases in the light intensity or appropriate increases in the duration of the light exposure. The green light, 2000 lx, and 3000 lx treatments increased the PAL activity of L. polystachyus, but the regulatory effects of the light intensity treatments on PAL activity were relatively weak. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of the light-induced transcriptome of L. polystachyus. The study results may form the basis of future studies aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying phlorizin biosynthesis in L. polystachyus. Moreover, this study may be relevant for clarifying the regulatory effects of light on the abundance of bioactive components in medicinal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Water-Soluble Inorganic Ions in Fine Particulate Emission During Forest Fires in Chinese Boreal and Subtropical Forests: An Indoor Experiment
Forests 2019, 10(11), 994; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110994 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Understanding of the characteristics of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSI) in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted during forest fires has paramount importance due to their potential effect on ecosystem acidification. Thus, we investigated the emission factors (EFs) of ten most common WSI [...] Read more.
Understanding of the characteristics of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSI) in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted during forest fires has paramount importance due to their potential effect on ecosystem acidification. Thus, we investigated the emission factors (EFs) of ten most common WSI from combustion of leaves and branches of ten dominant tree species in Chinese boreal and sub-tropical forests under smoldering and flaming combustion stages using a self-designed combustion unit. The results showed that EF of PM2.5 was three times higher for the boreal (6.83 ± 0.67 g/kg) than the subtropical forest (1.97 ± 0.34 g/kg), and coniferous species emitted 1.5 times more PM2.5 (5.35 ± 0.64 g/kg) than broadleaved species (3.45 ± 0.37 g/kg). EF of total WSI was 1.27 ± 0.08 g/kg for the boreal and 1.08 ± 0.07 g/kg for the subtropical forest and 1.28 ± 0.09 and 1.07 ± 0.06 g/kg for broadleaved and coniferous species, respectively. Individual ionic species also varied significantly between forest types and species within forest types, and K+ and Cl were the dominant ionic species in PM2.5, accounting for 25% and 30% for the boreal forest and 23% and 27% for the subtropical forest, respectively. Emissions of NO2 and SO42− were the lowest, accounting for 3% and 5% for the boreal forest and 4% for each of the subtropical forests, respectively. Combustion of leaves emitted significantly more ionic species (1.29 ± 0.05g/kg) than branches (1.05 ± 0.07 g/kg), and smoldering consistently emitted more ionic species (1.49 ± 0.09 g/kg) than flaming combustion (0.88 ± 0.03 g/kg). The cation to anion ratio was ≥1.0, suggesting that the particulate matter is neutral to alkalescent. As a whole, our findings demonstrate that forest fire in these regions may not contribute to ecosystem acidification despite the emission of a considerable amount of WSI during forest fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Fire Risk Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle
Tree Water Use, Water Use Efficiency, and Carbon Isotope Discrimination in Relation to Growth Potential in Populus deltoides and Hybrids under Field Conditions
Forests 2019, 10(11), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110993 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
We explored the relationship between tree growth, water use, and related hydraulic traits in Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.and hybrid clones, to examine potential trade-offs between growth and water use efficiency. Nine genotypes, six P. deltoides and three hybrid clones, that represented genotypes [...] Read more.
We explored the relationship between tree growth, water use, and related hydraulic traits in Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.and hybrid clones, to examine potential trade-offs between growth and water use efficiency. Nine genotypes, six P. deltoides and three hybrid clones, that represented genotypes with high (Group H), intermediate (Group I), and low (Group L) growth performance were selected for study, based on year-two standing stem biomass in a replicated field trial. In year four, tree growth, transpiration (Et), canopy stomatal conductance (Gs), whole-tree hydraulic conductance (Gp), and carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C) were measured. Tree sap flux was measured continuously using thermal dissipation probes. We hypothesized that Group H genotypes would have increased growth efficiency (GE), increased water use efficiency of production (WUEp, woody biomass growth/Et), lower Δ13C, and greater Gp than slower growing genotypes. Tree GE increased with relative growth rate (RGR), and mean GE in Group H was significantly greater than L, but not I. Tree WUEp ranged between 1.7 and 3.9 kg biomass m3 H2O1, which increased with RGR. At similar levels of Et, WUEp was significantly greater in Group H (2.45 ± 0.20 kg m3), compared to I (2.03 ± 0.18 kg m3) or L (1.72 ± 0.23 kg m3). Leaf and wood Δ13C scaled positively with stem biomass growth but was not correlated with WUEp. However, at a similar biomass increment, clones in Group H and I had significantly lower leaf Δ13C than Group L. Similarly, Group H clones had a significantly lower wood Δ13C than Group L, supporting our hypothesis of increased WUE in larger trees. Tree physiological and hydraulic traits partially explain differences in WUEp and Δ13C, and suggest that clone selection and management activities that increase tree biomass production will likely increase tree and stand WUE. However, more research is needed to discern the underlying hydraulic mechanisms responsible for the higher WUE exhibited by large trees and distinct clones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Physiology of Tree Response to Drought)
Open AccessArticle
Calibration and Assessment of Burned Area Simulation Capability of the LPJ-WHyMe Model in Northeast China
Forests 2019, 10(11), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110992 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Fire is one of the major forest disturbances in northeast China. In this study, simulations of the burned area in northeast China from 1997 to 2015 were conducted with the Lund–Potsdam–Jena wetland hydrology and methane (LPJ-WHyMe) model. The fire modeling ability in northeast [...] Read more.
Fire is one of the major forest disturbances in northeast China. In this study, simulations of the burned area in northeast China from 1997 to 2015 were conducted with the Lund–Potsdam–Jena wetland hydrology and methane (LPJ-WHyMe) model. The fire modeling ability in northeast China was assessed by calibrating parameters in the model. The parameters in the model were calibrated against the satellite-based global fire product (Global Fire Emission Database, version 4.1 (GFEDv4)) for the simulated burned area over the calibration period (1997–2010). Compared to the results with the uncalibrated parameters, the results obtained with the calibrated parameters in the LPJ-WHyMe model better described the spatial and interannual variability of the burned area. The spatial correlation coefficient between the GFEDv4 and the simulations increased from −0.14 for the uncalibrated version to 0.46 for the calibrated version over the calibration period. The burned area simulation ability was also improved over the validation period (2011–2015), and the spatial correlation coefficient between the GFEDv4 and the simulations increased from 0.20 for the uncalibrated version to 0.60 for the calibrated version. The mean absolute error (MAE) between the GFEDv4 and the simulations decreased from 0.018 for the uncalibrated version to 0.011 for the calibrated version (a decrease of 39%) over the calibration period and decreased from 0.020 to 0.016 (a decrease of 20%) over the validation period. Further numerical results showed that the improved simulation abilities of soil moisture and total aboveground litter had an important contribution to improving the burned area simulation ability. Sensitivity analysis suggested that determining the uncertainty ranges for parameters in northeast China was important to further improving the burned area simulation ability in northeast China. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Species Differences in Nitrogen Acquisition in Humid Subtropical Forest Inferred From 15N Natural Abundance and Its Response to Tracer Addition
Forests 2019, 10(11), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110991 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
Differences in nitrogen (N) acquisition patterns between plant species are often reflected in the natural 15N isotope ratios (δ15N) of the plant tissues, however, such differences are poorly understood for co-occurring plants in tropical and subtropical forests. To evaluate species [...] Read more.
Differences in nitrogen (N) acquisition patterns between plant species are often reflected in the natural 15N isotope ratios (δ15N) of the plant tissues, however, such differences are poorly understood for co-occurring plants in tropical and subtropical forests. To evaluate species variation in N acquisition traits, we measured leaf N concentration (%N) and δ15N in tree and understory plant species under ambient N deposition (control) and after a decade of N addition at 50 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N-plots) in an old-growth subtropical forest in southern China. We also measured changes in leaf δ15N after one-year of 15N addition in both the control and N-plots. The results show consistent significant species variation in leaf %N in both control and N-plots, but decadal N addition did not significantly affect leaf %N. Leaf δ15N values were also significantly different among the plant species both in tree and understory layers, and both in control and N-plots, suggesting differences in N acquisition strategies such as variation in N sources and dominant forms of N uptake and dependence on mycorrhizal associations among the co-occurring plant species. Significant differences between the plant species (in both control and N-plots) in changes in leaf δ15N after 15N addition were observed only in the understory plants, indicating difference in access (or use) of deposited N among the plants. Decadal N addition had species-dependent effects on leaf δ15N, suggesting the N acquisition patterns of these plant species are differently affected by N deposition. These results suggest that co-occurring plants in N-rich and subtropical forests vary in their N acquisition traits; these differences need to be accounted for when evaluating the impact of N deposition on N cycling in these ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stable Isotopes in Forest Ecosystem Research)
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Open AccessArticle
The Application of Time Series Decomposition for the Identification and Analysis of Fluctuations in Timber Supply and Price: A Case Study from Poland
Forests 2019, 10(11), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110990 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
The objective of the study was to verify the applicability and usefulness of time series decomposition in analyzing the variability of timber prices and supply in Poland. The employed multiplicative model was the product of four components: cyclical, seasonal, and irregular fluctuations and [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to verify the applicability and usefulness of time series decomposition in analyzing the variability of timber prices and supply in Poland. The employed multiplicative model was the product of four components: cyclical, seasonal, and irregular fluctuations and the long-term trend. The elements of the time series were determined by means of the Census X11 method, while cyclicality was separated from the trend employing the Hodrick–Prescott filter. Data included quarterly information about the supply (volume) and prices (value) of the timber sold by the State Forests in the years 2005–2018. Analyses were performed for tree species with the greatest economic significance, that is, pine, oak, spruce, beech, birch, and alder, and for their most popular assortments: general purpose large-diameter timber (W0) and medium-diameter timber (S2A). Time series decomposition of quarterly timber production volume and prices revealed irregular, seasonal, and cyclic fluctuations. Within an annual time horizon, irregular fluctuations accounted on average for 6.7% and 28% of overall variability in timber prices and supply, respectively; they exhibited low amplitudes (+5%, −25%, respectively). Cyclical fluctuations were primarily found for prices and were characterized by substantial variations in cycle length (2–4 years) and change amplitude (3–27 Euros). Cyclical fluctuations in timber prices and supply were usually negatively correlated with each other: the upper turning points of price cycles fell near the lower turning points of supply cycles (with a shift of 1 to 3 quarters). The seasonality of prices was also inversely correlated with supply: quarters with low supply exhibited higher prices and vice versa. Seasonal fluctuations were more pronounced for timber supply (36%) as compared to timber prices (20.3%). Different seasonality patterns were found for hardwood and softwood. The lowest supply of softwood was found in the first quarter and the highest in the third quarter (spruce) or fourth quarter (pine). The supply of hardwood was the highest in the first quarter and the lowest in the third quarter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Facilitating Adaptive Forest Management under Climate Change: A Spatially Specific Synthesis of 125 Species for Habitat Changes and Assisted Migration over the Eastern United States
Forests 2019, 10(11), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110989 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
We modeled and combined outputs for 125 tree species for the eastern United States, using habitat suitability and colonization potential models along with an evaluation of adaptation traits. These outputs allowed, for the first time, the compilation of tree species’ current and future [...] Read more.
We modeled and combined outputs for 125 tree species for the eastern United States, using habitat suitability and colonization potential models along with an evaluation of adaptation traits. These outputs allowed, for the first time, the compilation of tree species’ current and future potential for each unit of 55 national forests and grasslands and 469 1 × 1 degree grids across the eastern United States. A habitat suitability model, a migration simulation model, and an assessment based on biological and disturbance factors were used with United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data to evaluate species potential to migrate or infill naturally into suitable habitats over the next 100 years. We describe a suite of variables, by species, for each unique geographic unit, packaged as summary tables describing current abundance, potential future change in suitable habitat, adaptability, and capability to cope with the changing climate, and colonization likelihood over 100 years. This resulting synthesis and summation effort, culminating over two decades of work, provides a detailed data set that incorporates habitat quality, land cover, and dispersal potential, spatially constrained, for nearly all the tree species of the eastern United States. These tables and maps provide an estimate of potential species trends out 100 years, intended to deliver managers and publics with practical tools to reduce the vast set of decisions before them as they proactively manage tree species in the face of climate change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polyphenolic Profile and Antioxidant Activity of Juglans regia L. Leaves and Husk Extracts
Forests 2019, 10(11), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110988 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study is to characterize the antioxidant capacity and establish the profile of polyphenolic compounds in walnut extracts (different extracts prepared from walnut leaf and green husks). The correlation between bioingredients of the product tested and their ability to scavenge [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to characterize the antioxidant capacity and establish the profile of polyphenolic compounds in walnut extracts (different extracts prepared from walnut leaf and green husks). The correlation between bioingredients of the product tested and their ability to scavenge free radicals and reduce them by chelating various metal ions were examined. Research technology combining TG (thermogravimetry), FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy), high-performance liquid chromatography system (HPLC) with electrochemical methods (cyclic and differential pulse voltammetry) and spectrophotometric methods (ABTS, FRAP, and DPPH assays) was used to rate the potential oxidation-reduction components of walnut extracts. A high affinity for scavenging free radicals ABTS and DPPH was found for natural substances present in leaves and green husks. The walnut is beneficial to health as it contains alpha-linolenic acid in its lipid fraction and, as demonstrated in this study, its husks are rich in polyphenolics with high antioxidant capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest, Foods and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Storage and Climatic Controlling Factors of Litter Standing Crop Carbon in the Shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau
Forests 2019, 10(11), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110987 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Litter is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems and plays a significant role in carbon cycles. Quantifying regional-scale patterns of litter standing crop distribution will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of the terrestrial carbon cycle, and thus enable accurate predictions of the [...] Read more.
Litter is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems and plays a significant role in carbon cycles. Quantifying regional-scale patterns of litter standing crop distribution will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of the terrestrial carbon cycle, and thus enable accurate predictions of the responses of the terrestrial carbon cycle to future climate change. In this study, we aimed to estimate the storage and climatic controlling factors of litter standing crop carbon in the Tibetan Plateau shrublands. We investigated litter standing crop carbon storage and its controlling factors, using a litter survey at 65 shrublands sites across the Tibetan Plateau from 2011–2013. Ordinary least squares regression analyses were conducted to estimate the relationships between litter standing crop carbon, longitude, and latitude. Multiple linear regressions were used to evaluate relationships among litter standing crop carbon, mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP), and aboveground biomass. The litter standing crop carbon storage was 10.93 Tg C, 7.40 Tg C, and 3.53 Tg C in desert shrublands and alpine shrublands, respectively. Litter standing crop carbon decreased with longitude, and was stable with increasing latitude. Most (80%) of the litter standing crop was stored in branches, with only 20% stored in foliage in the shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau. The conversion coefficient was 0.44 for litter standing crop to litter standing crop carbon, and 0.39 and 0.45 for foliage and branch litter standing crop to foliage and branch litter standing crop carbon, respectively. Aboveground biomass can accelerate more inputs of litter and has a positive effect on litter standing crop carbon. MAT had a positive effect on litter standing crop carbon due to stimulating more input of aboveground biomass. However, MAP had a negative relationship with litter standing crop carbon by enhancing litter decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Root Distribution on Preferential Flow in Deciduous and Coniferous Forest Soils
Forests 2019, 10(11), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110986 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Root-induced channels are the primary controlling factors for rapid movement of water and solute in forest soils. To explore the effects of root distribution on preferential flow during rainfall events, deciduous (Quercus variabilis BI.) and coniferous forest (Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco) [...] Read more.
Root-induced channels are the primary controlling factors for rapid movement of water and solute in forest soils. To explore the effects of root distribution on preferential flow during rainfall events, deciduous (Quercus variabilis BI.) and coniferous forest (Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco) sites were selected to conduct dual-tracer experiments (Brilliant Blue FCF and Bromide [Br]). Each plot (1.30 × 1.30 m) was divided into two subplots (0.65 × 1.30 m), and two rainfall simulations (40 mm, large rainfall and 70 mm, extreme rainfall) were conducted in these. Vertical soil profiles (1.00 m × 0.40 m) were excavated, and preferential flow path features were quantified based on digital image analysis. Root (fine and coarse) abundance and Br concentration were investigated for each soil profile. In deciduous forest, accumulated roots in the upper soil layer induce larger lateral preferential flow as compared to the coniferous forest soil during large rainfall events. Compared with deciduous forest, coniferous forest soil, with higher (horizontal and vertical) spatial variability of preferential flow paths, promotes higher percolation and solute leaching to deeper soil layers during extreme rainfall events. Fine roots, accounting for a larger proportion of total roots (compared to coarse roots), facilitate preferential flow in the 0–40 cm forest soil layer. Overall, our results indicate that the root distribution pattern of different tree species can exert diverse effects on preferential flow in forest soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management and Modeling in Forestry)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Seed Transfer on Selected Wood Quality Attributes of Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.)
Forests 2019, 10(11), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110985 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
So far, few studies have considered the impacts of seed sources transfer on jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) wood quality, although wood quality attributes (WQA) in general and the differences between juvenile and mature wood in particular will determine suitability of the [...] Read more.
So far, few studies have considered the impacts of seed sources transfer on jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) wood quality, although wood quality attributes (WQA) in general and the differences between juvenile and mature wood in particular will determine suitability of the produced wood for end-uses. The main objective of this study was to examine the possibility of selecting superior jack pine provenances based on selected WQA. Twenty-two provenances of jack pine were planted in 1964 in Petawawa Research Forest, ON, Canada, as part of a provenance test. The plantation location offers conditions close to optimum for jack pine growth. Transition ages at breast height, determined with tracheids length, were computed with a piecewise model. Measurements at age 42 from seed were subjected to analyses of variance. Radial variations from pith to bark, as well as trends with seed sources origin of the selected WQA were also considered. A ranking was made based on a selection index built with four WQA. The provenances matured between 8 and 14 years, corresponding to 17%–48% of juvenile wood proportion. Significant differences among provenances were observed for ring width, ring density, tracheid length, and diameter at breast height but not for tracheid diameter, tree height, transition age, and juvenile wood proportion. None of the provenances ranked the best with all the selected WQA, but it was possible to find provenances exhibiting both high growth rate and good wood quality. A surprising result of this study was that tracheid diameter initially enlarged for 8 years, before declining toward the bark. It is possible to select provenances for a higher growth rate and for good physical (i.e., related to wood density) and anatomical (i.e., related to tracheid dimensions) wood quality attributes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating TimeSync Disturbance Detection and Repeat Forest Inventory to Predict Carbon Flux
Forests 2019, 10(11), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110984 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Understanding change in forest carbon (C) is important for devising strategies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. National forest inventories (NFIs) are important to meet international accounting goals, but data are often incomplete going back in time, and the amount of time between [...] Read more.
Understanding change in forest carbon (C) is important for devising strategies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. National forest inventories (NFIs) are important to meet international accounting goals, but data are often incomplete going back in time, and the amount of time between remeasurements can make attribution of C flux to specific events difficult. The long time series of Landsat imagery provides spatially comprehensive, consistent information that can be used to fill the gaps in ground measurements with predictive models. To evaluate such models, we relate Landsat spectral changes and disturbance interpretations directly to C flux measured on NFI plots and compare the performance of models with and without ground-measured predictor variables. The study was conducted in the forests of southwest Oregon State, USA, a region of diverse forest types, disturbances, and landowner management objectives. Plot data consisted of 676 NFI plots with remeasured individual tree data over a mean interval (time 1 to time 2) of 10.0 years. We calculated change in live aboveground woody carbon (AWC), including separate components of growth, mortality, and harvest. We interpreted radiometrically corrected annual Landsat images with the TimeSync (TS) tool for a 90 m × 90 m area over each plot. Spectral time series were divided into segments of similar trajectories and classified as disturbance, recovery, or stability segments, with type of disturbance identified. We calculated a variety of values and segment changes from tasseled cap angle and distance (TCA and TCD) as potential predictor variables of C flux. Multiple linear regression was used to model AWC and net change in AWC from the TS change metrics. The TS attribution of disturbance matched the plot measurements 89% of the time regarding whether fire or harvest had occurred or not. The primary disagreement was due to plots that had been partially cut, mostly in vigorous stands where the net change in AWC over the measurement was positive in spite of cutting. The plot-measured AWC at time 2 was 86.0 ± 78.7 Mg C ha−1 (mean and standard deviation), and the change in AWC across all plots was 3.5 ± 33 Mg C ha−1 year−1. The best model for AWC based solely on TS and other mapped variables had an R2 = 0.52 (RMSE = 54.6 Mg C ha−1); applying this model at two time periods to estimate net change in AWC resulted in an R2 = 0.25 (RMSE = 28.3 Mg ha−1) and a mean error of −5.4 Mg ha−1. The best model for AWC at time 2 using plot measurements at time 1 and TS variables had an R2 = 0.95 (RSME = 17.0 Mg ha−1). The model for net change in AWC using the same data was identical except that, because the variable being estimated was smaller in magnitude, the R2 = 0.73. All models performed better at estimating net change in AWC on TS-disturbed plots than on TS-undisturbed plots. The TS discrimination of disturbance between fire and harvest was an important variable in the models because the magnitude of spectral change from fire was greater for a given change in AWC. Regional models without plot-level predictors produced erroneous predictions of net change in AWC for some of the forest types. Our study suggests that, in spite of the simplicity of applying a single carbon model to multiple image dates, the approach can produce inaccurate estimates of C flux. Although models built with plot-level predictors are necessarily constrained to making predictions at plot locations, they show promise for providing accurate updates or back-calculations of C flux assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Age, Growth and Death of a National Icon: The Historic Chapman Baobab of Botswana
Forests 2019, 10(11), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110983 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The year 2016 witnessed the fall of a symbol of the botanical world: the historic Chapman baobab of Botswana. This article presents the results of our investigation of the standing and fallen tree. The Chapman baobab had an open ring-shaped structure composed of [...] Read more.
The year 2016 witnessed the fall of a symbol of the botanical world: the historic Chapman baobab of Botswana. This article presents the results of our investigation of the standing and fallen tree. The Chapman baobab had an open ring-shaped structure composed of six partially fused stems. Several wood samples collected from the stems prior and after their collapse were analysed by using radiocarbon dating. The radiocarbon date of the oldest sample was 1381 ± 22 BP, which corresponds to a calibrated age of 1345 (+10, −15) calendar years. The dating results show that the six stems of the Chapman baobab belonged to three different generations, which were 1350–1400, 800–1000 and 500–600 years old. The growth rate variation of the largest and oldest stem is presented and correlated with the climate evolution in the area over the past 1000 years. The factors that determined the sudden fall and death of the Chapman baobab are also presented and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functionalized Surface Layer on Poplar Wood Fabricated by Fire Retardant and Thermal Densification. Part 2: Dynamic Wettability and Bonding Strength
Forests 2019, 10(11), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110982 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
In continuation of our former study on a novel combined treatment of nitrogen–phosphorus fire retardant and thermomechanical densification on wood, this study focuses on the dynamic wettability and the bonding strength. The contact angle was measured using the sessile drop method and the [...] Read more.
In continuation of our former study on a novel combined treatment of nitrogen–phosphorus fire retardant and thermomechanical densification on wood, this study focuses on the dynamic wettability and the bonding strength. The contact angle was measured using the sessile drop method and the surface energy was calculated according to the van Oss method. Water surface penetrating and spreading is analyzed by both the Shi and Gardner model and the droplet volume changing model. The results reveal that the combined treatment increased the surface energy, especially the acid–base component. The contact angle declined and the water droplet spread more easily on the surface. Meanwhile, the rate of relative droplet volume decreased by 32.6% because the surface layer was densified and stabilized by the combined process. Additionally, the surface possesses the lowest roughness and highest abrasion resistance on the tangential section. Thus, the bonding strength of the combined treated poplar decreased by 29.7% compared to that of untreated poplar; however, it is still 53.3% higher than that of 220 °C heat-treated wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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Open AccessReview
Temperate Agroforestry Systems and Insect Pollinators: A Review
Forests 2019, 10(11), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110981 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Agroforestry can provide ecosystem services and benefits such as soil erosion control, microclimate modification for yield enhancement, economic diversification, livestock production and well-being, and water quality protection. Through increased structural and functional diversity in agricultural landscapes, agroforestry practices can also affect ecosystem services [...] Read more.
Agroforestry can provide ecosystem services and benefits such as soil erosion control, microclimate modification for yield enhancement, economic diversification, livestock production and well-being, and water quality protection. Through increased structural and functional diversity in agricultural landscapes, agroforestry practices can also affect ecosystem services provided by insect pollinators. A literature review was conducted to synthesize information on how temperate agroforestry systems influence insect pollinators and their pollination services with particular focus on the role of trees and shrubs. Our review indicates that agroforestry practices can provide three overarching benefits for pollinators: (1) providing habitat including foraging resources and nesting or egg-laying sites, (2) enhancing site and landscape connectivity, and (3) mitigating pesticide exposure. In some cases, agroforestry practices may contribute to unintended consequences such as becoming a sink for pollinators, where they may have increased exposure to pesticide residue that can accumulate in agroforestry practices. Although there is some scientific evidence suggesting that agroforestry practices can enhance crop pollination and yield, more research needs to be conducted on a variety of crops to verify this ecosystem service. Through a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of agroforestry practices on pollinators and their key services, we can better design agroforestry systems to provide these benefits in addition to other desired ecosystem services. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Natural Capital Approach to Agroforestry Decision-Making at the Farm Scale
Forests 2019, 10(11), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110980 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: Agroforestry systems can improve the provision of ecosystem services at the farm scale whilst improving agricultural productivity, thereby playing an important role in the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Natural capital accounting offers a framework for demonstrating the capacity of agroforestry systems to [...] Read more.
Background: Agroforestry systems can improve the provision of ecosystem services at the farm scale whilst improving agricultural productivity, thereby playing an important role in the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Natural capital accounting offers a framework for demonstrating the capacity of agroforestry systems to deliver sustained private benefits to farming enterprises, but traditionally is applied at larger scales than those at which farmers make decisions. Methods: Here we review the current state of knowledge on natural capital accounting and analyse how such an approach may be effectively applied to demonstrate the farm-scale value of agroforestry assets. We also discuss the merits of applying a natural capital approach to agroforestry decision-making and present an example of a conceptual model for valuation of agroforestry assets at the farm scale. Results: Our findings suggest that with further development of conceptual models to support existing tools and frameworks, a natural capital approach could be usefully applied to improve decision-making in agroforestry at the farm scale. Using this approach to demonstrate the private benefits of agroforestry systems could also encourage adoption of agroforestry, increasing public benefits such as biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. However, to apply this approach, improvements must be made in our ability to predict the types and amounts of services that agroforestry assets of varying condition provide at the farm or paddock scale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity of Phytophthora Species Associated with Quercus ilex L. in Three Spanish Regions Evaluated by NGS
Forests 2019, 10(11), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110979 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The diversity of Phytophthora species in declining Fagaceae forests in Europe is increasing in the last years. The genus Quercus is one of the most extended Fagaceae genera in Europe, and Q. ilex is the dominant tree in Spain. The introduction of soil-borne [...] Read more.
The diversity of Phytophthora species in declining Fagaceae forests in Europe is increasing in the last years. The genus Quercus is one of the most extended Fagaceae genera in Europe, and Q. ilex is the dominant tree in Spain. The introduction of soil-borne pathogens, such as Phytophthora in Fagaceae forests modifies the microbial community present in the rhizosphere, and has relevant environmental and economic consequences. A better understanding of the diversity of Phytophthora spp. associated with Q. ilex is proposed in this study by using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in six Q. ilex stands located in three regions in Spain. Thirty-seven Phytophthora phylotypes belonging to clades 1 to 12, except for clades 4, 5 and 11, are detected in this study, which represents a high diversity of Phytophthora species in holm oak Spanish forests. Phytophthora chlamydospora, P. citrophthora, P. gonapodyides, P. lacustris, P. meadii, P. plurivora, P. pseudocryptogea, P. psychrophila and P. quercina were present in the three regions. Seven phylotypes could not be associated with known Phytophthora species, so they were putatively named as Phytophthora sp. Most of the detected phylotypes corresponded to terrestrial Phytophthora species but aquatic species from clades 6 and 9 were also present in all regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytophthora Infestations in Forest Ecosystems)
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