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Forests, Volume 10, Issue 9 (September 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Non-Timber Forest Products Collection Affects Education of Children in Forest Proximate Communities in Northeastern Pakistan
Forests 2019, 10(9), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090813 (registering DOI) - 18 Sep 2019
Abstract
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are crucial in driving the economy of communities living inside or around forests. The scarcity of business and employment opportunities often push the forest proximate communities to tap a range of NTFPs for earning their livelihoods. In many forest-based [...] Read more.
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are crucial in driving the economy of communities living inside or around forests. The scarcity of business and employment opportunities often push the forest proximate communities to tap a range of NTFPs for earning their livelihoods. In many forest-based communities around the world, children are actively involved in NTFPs collection, which is likely to affect the socioeconomic paradigms of these children. We aim to investigate how the NTFP collection venture affects the education of the children involved in the forest proximate communities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. A stratified sampling followed by a series of focus group discussions and one-to-one interviews were carried out to collect information on collection behaviour, patterns, income generation, and other socioeconomic variables. We used a binary logistic regression model to explain children’s state of attending schools using a range of socioeconomic variables. The empirical evidence showed that 42% of the NTFP-collecting children were not going to school, and nearly two-thirds were working in unfavourable working environments. The regression model showed that the role and behaviour of contractors, along with factors like household conditions, were important factors in employing children for long working hours. The study has implications for reforming policies regarding the nexus of income generation and education in the forest-based communities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fire Scars Negatively Affect Hydraulic Conductivity in White Oak (Quercus alba)
Forests 2019, 10(9), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090812 - 18 Sep 2019
Abstract
Fire management is increasingly used to manage forest stand structure and dynamics. Relatively intense fires can injure the tree stem and induce fire scar formation, affecting subsequent tree growth and wood quality. Here, we consider the physiological effects of fire scarring in white [...] Read more.
Fire management is increasingly used to manage forest stand structure and dynamics. Relatively intense fires can injure the tree stem and induce fire scar formation, affecting subsequent tree growth and wood quality. Here, we consider the physiological effects of fire scarring in white oak. Potential hydraulic conductivity, estimated from the mean vessel area and vessel number, was determined for growth rings formed before, during, and after the year of injury. We measured vessel anatomy using the ROXAS image analysis tool on the cross-sections of 14 white oaks of various ages with fire scars originating in different years through the late 19th and early 20th century. We found that the mean vessel area and potential hydraulic conductivity were significantly reduced for the year of and the year immediately following fire injury. After this two-year period, mean vessel area returned to levels present in wood formed prior to the injury. Age when scarred, radius from the pith when scarred, scar height above ground, and percentage of circumference scarred did not explain the degree to which potential hydraulic conductivity was lost in the fire scar year compared to the year prior. Overall, the magnitude of reduction in potential hydraulic conductivity was small but significant. An earlier study on the same cross-sections verified no reductions in radial growth after fire injury. Thus, it is likely that the conductance of older rings is adequate to sustain conductance. Nonetheless, we recommend further investigation, in particular, the ability to predict how tree size, age, position along a slope, and other variables may influence the degree of wounding and possible losses of potential hydraulic conductivity after the fire. Information like this for white oak and other common tree species may help elucidate the physiological impacts fire injuries have on trees existing in forest stands with periodic fire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Use of MODIS NDVI Products to Map Tree Mortality Levels in Forests Affected by Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks
Forests 2019, 10(9), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090811 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 130
Abstract
Extensive bark beetle outbreaks have recently occurred in western North American forests, resulting in overstory tree mortality across millions of hectares. Annual aerial surveys are currently used to operationally monitor bark beetle induced tree mortality, though this method is subjective and can exclude [...] Read more.
Extensive bark beetle outbreaks have recently occurred in western North American forests, resulting in overstory tree mortality across millions of hectares. Annual aerial surveys are currently used to operationally monitor bark beetle induced tree mortality, though this method is subjective and can exclude some forest areas. Daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data offer a potential alternative means to develop regional tree mortality maps. Accurate methods using such data could aid natural resource managers in surveys of forests with frequent overstory mortality, helping to prioritize forest treatment and restoration activities. This paper discusses a study to test the potential of using MODIS data to detect tree mortality. We developed and tested an approach to use 250-m resolution MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data products collected during a mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak and related tree mortality event in the northern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA. The 94 km2 study area is predominantly lodgepole pine forest with most of the MPB-caused mortality occurring between 2003 and 2008. We used a 2.4-m forest conditions map from 2008 aerial multispectral imagery to calculate percentage of mortality within 240-m pixels for use as reference data. Using either daily or 16-day products, MODIS NDVI change products were calculated for 2008 versus either 2000 or 2003 baselines. MODIS change products were used as predictors in linear regression analysis to assess correlation between MODIS data and the aerial percent forest mortality map. Depending on the MODIS product, linear regression analyses yielded r2 values ranging from 0.362 to 0.544 without outliers removed and from 0.406 to 0.570 with extreme outliers removed. Daily MODIS NDVI products from 2003 and 2008 were used with exponential regression to improve the r2 to 0.593. The project showed some MODIS NDVI data potential for mapping percent tree mortality in forests subjected to regional bark beetle outbreaks and severe drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dieback on Drought-Prone Forest Ecosystems)
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Tree Crown Allometry on Community Dynamics in Mixed-Species Stands versus Monocultures. A Review and Perspectives for Modeling and Silvicultural Regulation
Forests 2019, 10(9), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090810 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 119
Abstract
Many recent studies have shown that the structure, density, and productivity of mixed-species stands can differ from the weighted mean of monospecific stands of the respective species. The tree and stand properties emerging by inter-specific neighborhood should be considered in models for understanding [...] Read more.
Many recent studies have shown that the structure, density, and productivity of mixed-species stands can differ from the weighted mean of monospecific stands of the respective species. The tree and stand properties emerging by inter-specific neighborhood should be considered in models for understanding and practical management. A promising approach for this is a more realistic representation of the individual tree allometry in models and management concepts, as tree allometry determines many structural and functional aspects at the tree and stand level. Therefore, this paper is focused on the crown allometry in mixed and mono-specific stands. Firstly, we review species-specific differences in the crown allometry in monospecific stands. Secondly, we show how species-specific differences and complementarities in crown allometry can emerge in mixed-species stands. Thirdly, the consequences of allometric complementarity for the canopy packing density will be analyzed. Fourthly, we trace the crown allometry from the tree level to the stand density and show the relevance for the self-thinning in mixed versus monospecific stands. Fifth, the consequence of the findings for modeling and regulating tree and stand growth will be discussed. The review deals mainly with widespread even-aged, mono-layered stands, but the main results apply for more heterogeneous stands analogously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Mixing Effects in Forest Stands)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Pattern of Climate Change Effects on Lithuanian Forestry
Forests 2019, 10(9), 809; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090809 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Research Highlights: Validating modelling approach which combines global framework conditions in the form of climate and policy scenarios with the use of forest decision support system to assess climate change impacts on the sustainability of forest management. Background and Objectives: Forests and forestry [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Validating modelling approach which combines global framework conditions in the form of climate and policy scenarios with the use of forest decision support system to assess climate change impacts on the sustainability of forest management. Background and Objectives: Forests and forestry have been confirmed to be sensitive to climate. On the other hand, human efforts to mitigate climate change influence forests and forest management. To facilitate the evaluation of future sustainability of forest management, decision support systems are applied. Our aims are to: (1) Adopt and validate decision support tool to incorporate climate change and its mitigation impacts on forest growth, global timber demands and prices for simulating future trends of forest ecosystem services in Lithuania, (2) determine the magnitude and spatial patterns of climate change effects on Lithuanian forests and forest management in the future, supposing that current forestry practices are continued. Materials and Methods: Upgraded version of Lithuanian forestry simulator Kupolis was used to model the development of all forests in the country until 2120 under management conditions of three climate change scenarios. Selected stand-level forest and forest management characteristics were aggregated to the level of regional branches of the State Forest Enterprise and analyzed for the spatial and temporal patterns of climate change effects. Results: Increased forest growth under a warmer future climate resulted in larger tree dimensions, volumes of growing stock, naturally dying trees, harvested assortments, and also higher profits from forestry activities. Negative impacts were detected for the share of broadleaved tree species in the standing volume and the tree species diversity. Climate change effects resulted in spatially clustered patterns—increasing stand productivity, and amounts of harvested timber were concentrated in the regions with dominating coniferous species, while the same areas were exposed to negative dynamics of biodiversity-related forest attributes. Current forest characteristics explained 70% or more of the variance of climate change effects on key forest and forest management attributes. Conclusions: Using forest decision support systems, climate change scenarios and considering the balance of delivered ecosystem services is suggested as a methodological framework for validating forest management alternatives aiming for more adaptiveness in Lithuanian forestry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differential Responses and Controls of Soil CO2 and N2O Fluxes to Experimental Warming and Nitrogen Fertilization in a Subalpine Coniferous Spruce (Picea asperata Mast.) Plantation Forest
Forests 2019, 10(9), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090808 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 123
Abstract
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2 and N2O from soils are affected by many factors such as climate change, soil carbon content, and soil nutrient conditions. However, the response patterns and controls of soil CO2 and N [...] Read more.
Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as CO2 and N2O from soils are affected by many factors such as climate change, soil carbon content, and soil nutrient conditions. However, the response patterns and controls of soil CO2 and N2O fluxes to global warming and nitrogen (N) fertilization are still not clear in subalpine forests. To address this issue, we conducted an eight-year field experiment with warming and N fertilization treatments in a subalpine coniferous spruce (Picea asperata Mast.) plantation forest in China. Soil CO2 and N2O fluxes were measured using a static chamber method, and soils were sampled to analyze soil carbon and N contents, soil microbial substrate utilization (MSU) patterns, and microbial functional diversity. Results showed that the mean annual CO2 and N2O fluxes were 36.04 ± 3.77 mg C m−2 h−1 and 0.51 ± 0.11 µg N m−2 h−1, respectively. Soil CO2 flux was only affected by warming while soil N2O flux was significantly enhanced by N fertilization and its interaction with warming. Warming enhanced dissolve organic carbon (DOC) and MSU, reduced soil organic carbon (SOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and constrained the microbial metabolic activity and microbial functional diversity, resulting in a decrease in soil CO2 emission. The analysis of structural equation model indicated that MSU had dominant direct negative effect on soil CO2 flux but had direct positive effect on soil N2O flux. DOC and MBC had indirect positive effects on soil CO2 flux while soil NH4+-N had direct negative effect on soil CO2 and N2O fluxes. This study revealed different response patterns and controlling factors of soil CO2 and N2O fluxes in the subalpine plantation forest, and highlighted the importance of soil microbial contributions to GHG fluxes under climate warming and N deposition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Persistence of Container Nursery Treatments on the Field Performance and Root System Morphology of Longleaf Pine Seedlings
Forests 2019, 10(9), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090807 - 17 Sep 2019
Viewed by 106
Abstract
In recent decades, container stock has become the preferred plant material to regenerate longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests in the southeastern United States. We evaluated the effects of container nursery treatments on early and long-term field performance in central Louisiana. Seedlings [...] Read more.
In recent decades, container stock has become the preferred plant material to regenerate longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests in the southeastern United States. We evaluated the effects of container nursery treatments on early and long-term field performance in central Louisiana. Seedlings were grown in four cavity volumes (60–336 mL) with or without copper oxychloride root pruning (Cu or no-Cu) and fertilized at three nitrogen (N) rates. Across treatments, 91% of the seedlings emerged from the grass stage by the second field season, and 88% of the seedlings survived eight years after outplanting (Year 8). Seedlings grown in the largest cavities had greater total heights and stem diameters than those cultured in the 60- and 95-mL cavities through Year 8. Seedlings receiving the least amount of N in the nursery were consistently smaller in stature through Year 8 than seedlings receiving more N. Field growth was unaffected by copper root pruning through Year 8. Foliar mineral nutrient concentrations and seedling nutrient contents of Year 2 seedlings did not respond to nursery treatments. Independent of nursery treatments, seedlings excavated in Year 2 had at least 60% of their first-order lateral roots (FOLRs) originating from the top 4.0 cm of the taproots. The Cu-root-pruned seedlings had twofold the percentage of FOLRs egressed from the top 8.0 cm of the root plug when compared with the no-Cu seedlings. Moreover, the Cu root pruning treatment decreased the percentage of root plug biomass allocated to FOLRs, total within root plug FOLR lengths, and FOLR deformity index. The effects of increasing cavity volume or N rate on the root plug FOLR variables were opposite those of the Cu root pruning treatment. Our results suggest that a tradeoff may exist between seedling stature and a more natural FOLR morphology in outplanted container longleaf pine seedlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessArticle
Forest Gap Size Alters the Functional Diversity of Soil Nematode Communities in Alpine Forest Ecosystems
Forests 2019, 10(9), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090806 - 16 Sep 2019
Viewed by 157
Abstract
Changes in the microenvironment driven by forest gaps have profound effects on soil nutrient cycling and litter decomposition processes in alpine forest ecosystems. However, it is unclear whether a similar forest gap effect occurs in the soil decomposer community. A field experiment was [...] Read more.
Changes in the microenvironment driven by forest gaps have profound effects on soil nutrient cycling and litter decomposition processes in alpine forest ecosystems. However, it is unclear whether a similar forest gap effect occurs in the soil decomposer community. A field experiment was conducted in an alpine forest to investigate the composition and structure of the soil nematode community among four treatments, including under a closed canopy and in small (<10 m in diameter), medium (10‒15 m in diameter), and large (15‒20 m in diameter) gaps. A total of 92,787 individuals and 27 species (genera level) of soil nematode were extracted by elutriation and sugar centrifugation, respectively. Filenchus was the most abundant dominant taxa and represented 24.27%‒37.51% of the soil nematodes in the four treatments. Compared to the closed canopy, the forest gaps did not affect the composition, abundance, or species diversity of the soil nematode community but significantly affected the functional diversity of the soil nematode community. The maturity indices (MI, ∑MI, and MI2‒5) of the soil nematode community in the closed canopy were significantly lower than those in the forest gaps. Moreover, the proportion of plant parasitic index and maturity index (PPI/MI) values of the closed canopy and small gaps were significantly higher than those of the medium and large gaps. Our results suggest that the forest gap size substantially alters the functional diversity of soil nematodes in the debris food web, and changes in soil nematode community structure due to gap formation may have profound effects on soil biogeochemical processes in alpine forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Gap Factors in Forest Tree Regeneration and Plant Communities)
Open AccessArticle
Machinability Study of Australia’s Dominate Plantation Timber Resources
Forests 2019, 10(9), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090805 - 16 Sep 2019
Viewed by 187
Abstract
This study tested the machinability of three major timber species grown in Tasmania, Australia, under different resource management schemes: plantation fiber-managed hardwood (Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Eucalyptus nitens Maiden) and plantation sawlog-managed softwood (Pinus radiata D. Don). P. radiata was used [...] Read more.
This study tested the machinability of three major timber species grown in Tasmania, Australia, under different resource management schemes: plantation fiber-managed hardwood (Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Eucalyptus nitens Maiden) and plantation sawlog-managed softwood (Pinus radiata D. Don). P. radiata was used as a control to identify significant differences in machining fibre-managed plantation timber against sawlog-managed plantation timber with numerically controlled computer technology and manually fed timber production techniques. The potential to fabricate architectural interior products such as moldings with plantation fiber-managed hardwood timber that is high in natural features was the focus of this study. Correlations between wood species, variation in moisture content, and density of individual machinability characteristics were analyzed to determine factors impacting the overall quality of plantation wood machinability. Correlations between species and within species groups from the resulting machinability tests are highlighted and discussed. The results indicate that the machinability of sawlog-managed softwood P. radiata is superior in some circumstances to fiber-managed hardwood E. globulus and E. nitens specimens, according to the American Society for Testing and Materials D1666-11. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Properties and Processing)
Open AccessArticle
Drought Enhances the Role of Competition in Mediating the Relationship between Tree Growth and Climate in Semi-Arid Areas of Northwest China
Forests 2019, 10(9), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090804 - 14 Sep 2019
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Climate variability can exert a powerful impact on biotic competition, but past studies have focused largely on short-lived species, with a lack of attention to long-lived species such as trees. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate how competition regulates the climate-growth relationship [...] Read more.
Climate variability can exert a powerful impact on biotic competition, but past studies have focused largely on short-lived species, with a lack of attention to long-lived species such as trees. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate how competition regulates the climate-growth relationship in mature trees. We sampled the dominant tree species, Picea wilsonii Mast., on Xinglong Mountain, China, and studied the above issues by analyzing the relationship between tree radial growth, precipitation, and competition. In relatively wet years (precipitation > average), there was no significant difference in climate sensitivity between different competition classes. However, trees suffering from highly competitive stress were more sensitive to climate variability in all years, and particularly in the subset of years that was relatively drought (precipitation < average). These results suggest that competition enhances its ability to regulate tree growth response to climate variability in adverse weather conditions. Competition for resources between trees was asymmetrical, and an increase in height could give trees a disproportionate benefit. Thus, at trunk-level, both basal area incremental growth and intrinsic water-use efficiency of trees subjected to low competitive stress were significantly higher than trees that are subjected to highly competitive stress. Although the intrinsic water-use efficiency of trees under highly competitive stress increased more rapidly as the drought level increases, this did not change the fact that the radial growth of them declined more. Our research is valuable for the development of individual-tree growth models and advances our understanding for forest management under global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Experiments for Evaluating the Effects of Trees, Increasing Temperature, and Soil Texture on Carbon Stocks in Agroforestry Systems in Kerala, India
Forests 2019, 10(9), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090803 - 14 Sep 2019
Viewed by 188
Abstract
Research Highlights: Agroforestry systems in the humid tropics have the potential for high rates of production and large accumulations of carbon in plant biomass and soils and, thus, may play an important role in the global C cycle. Multiple factors can influence C [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Agroforestry systems in the humid tropics have the potential for high rates of production and large accumulations of carbon in plant biomass and soils and, thus, may play an important role in the global C cycle. Multiple factors can influence C sequestration, making it difficult to discern the effect of a single factor. We used a modeling approach to evaluate the relative effects of individual factors on C stocks in three agricultural systems in Kerala, India. Background and Objectives: Factors such as plant growth form, management, climate warming, and soil texture can drive differences in C storage among cropping systems, but the relationships among these factors and their effects are complex. Our objective was to use CENTURY, a process-based model of plant–soil nutrient cycling, in an experimental mode to evaluate the effects of individual factors on C stocks in soil and biomass in monocultures (annuals or trees) and agroforestry systems. Materials and Methods: We parameterized the model for this region, then conducted simulations to investigate the effects on C stocks of four experimental scenarios: (1) change in growth form; (2) change in tree species; (3) increase in temperature above 20-year means; and (4) differences in soil texture. We compared the models with measured changes in soil C after eight years. Results: Simulated soil C stocks were influenced by all factors: growth form; lignin in tree tissues; increasing temperature; and soil texture. However, increasing temperature and soil sand content had relatively small effects on biomass C. Conclusions: Inclusion of trees with traits that promoted C sequestration such as lignin content, along with the use of best management practices, resulted in the greatest C storage among the simulated agricultural systems. Greater use and better management of trees with high C-storage potential can thus provide a low-cost means for mitigation of climate warming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Migratory Flight in the Spruce Budworm: Temperature Constraints
Forests 2019, 10(9), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090802 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 161
Abstract
We describe an individual-based model of spruce budworm moth migration founded on the premise that flight liftoff, altitude, and duration are constrained by the relationships between wing size, body weight, wingbeat frequency, and air temperature. We parameterized this model with observations from moths [...] Read more.
We describe an individual-based model of spruce budworm moth migration founded on the premise that flight liftoff, altitude, and duration are constrained by the relationships between wing size, body weight, wingbeat frequency, and air temperature. We parameterized this model with observations from moths captured in traps or observed migrating under field conditions. We further documented the effects of prior defoliation on the size and weight (including fecundity) of migrating moths. Our simulations under idealized nocturnal conditions with a stable atmospheric boundary layer suggest that the ability of gravid female moths to migrate is conditional on the progression of egg-laying. The model also predicts that the altitude at which moths migrate varies with the temperature profile in the boundary layer and with time during the evening and night. Model results have implications for the degree to which long-distance dispersal by spruce budworm might influence population dynamics in locations distant from outbreak sources, including how atmospheric phenomena such as wind convergence might influence these processes. To simulate actual migration flights en masse, the proposed model will need to be linked to regional maps of insect populations, a phenology model, and weather model outputs of both large- and small-scale atmospheric conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection Strategy against Spruce Budworm)
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Open AccessArticle
Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Geographical Criteria for Loblolly Pine Management for Bioenergy Production in Virginia
Forests 2019, 10(9), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090801 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 195
Abstract
Abstract: This study analyzed the perceptions of four stakeholder groups (forest landowners, private forest consultants, forest management researchers or educators, and federal or state agency foresters), regarding their management practices and preferred geographic growing conditions of loblolly pine in Virginia by [...] Read more.
Abstract: This study analyzed the perceptions of four stakeholder groups (forest landowners, private forest consultants, forest management researchers or educators, and federal or state agency foresters), regarding their management practices and preferred geographic growing conditions of loblolly pine in Virginia by combining AHP (analytical hierarchy process) and regression modeling. By ranking the importance of different geographical conditions for managing loblolly pine, we aimed to identify ways to support loblolly growth as a potential feedstock for biofuel generation. We achieved this through collecting survey responses from 43 stakeholders during the 2019 Virginia Forestry Summit. The results showed that the landowner, researcher/educator, and federal/state agency stakeholder groups all indicated that proximity to a mill was the most important criteria, whereas the consultant stakeholder group indicated that proximity to a road was the most important criteria. All the stakeholder groups indicated that distance from protected land was the least important criteria, followed by proximity to a water body and flat land. The regression model revealed that acres of land managed and loblolly rotation age were correlated to the weight given to the distance to a mill criterion, where increased acreage and increased rotation age were associated with an increased prioritization of proximity to a mill. Distance from protected land, the lowest-ranking criteria, was shown to have an association with the level of experience with loblolly, where more experience was associated with a lower prioritization of proximity from protected land. A contingency analysis of the self-identified level of experience with loblolly in each stakeholder group revealed that federal/state agency foresters had the most experience, followed by consultants, landowners, and researchers/educators. The research supports the importance of understanding the variation of perceptions between and within stakeholder groups in order to develop the necessary infrastructural and policy support for the sustainable development of bioenergy. Full article
Open AccessReview
Catering Information Needs from Global to Local Scales—Potential and Challenges with National Forest Inventories
Forests 2019, 10(9), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090800 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Forest information is needed at global, national and local scales. This review aimed at providing insights of potential of national forest inventories (NFIs) as well as challenges they have to cater to those needs. Within NFIs, the authors address the methodological challenges introduced [...] Read more.
Forest information is needed at global, national and local scales. This review aimed at providing insights of potential of national forest inventories (NFIs) as well as challenges they have to cater to those needs. Within NFIs, the authors address the methodological challenges introduced by the multitude of scales the forest data are needed, and the challenges in acknowledging the errors due to the measurements and models in addition to sampling errors. Between NFIs, the challenges related to the different harmonization tasks were reviewed. While a design-based approach is often considered more attractive than a model-based approach as it is guaranteed to provide unbiased results, the model-based approach is needed for downscaling the information to smaller scales and acknowledging the measurement and model errors. However, while a model-based inference is possible in small areas, the unknown random effects introduce biased estimators. The NFIs need to cater for the national information requirements and maintain the existing time series, while at the same time providing comparable information across the countries. In upscaling the NFI information to continental and global information needs, representative samples across the area are of utmost importance. Without representative data, the model-based approaches enable provision of forest information with unknown and indeterminable biases. Both design-based and model-based approaches need to be applied to cater to all information needs. This must be accomplished in a comprehensive way In particular, a need to have standardized quality requirements has been identified, acknowledging the possibility for bias and its implications, for all data used in policy making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Resources Assessments: Mensuration, Inventory and Planning)
Open AccessArticle
Bark Features for Identifying Resonance Spruce Standing Timber
Forests 2019, 10(9), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090799 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Measuring the acoustic properties of wood is not feasible for most luthiers, so identifying simple, valid criteria for diagnosis remains an exciting challenge when selecting materials for manufacturing musical instruments. This article aims to verify whether the bark qualities as a marker of [...] Read more.
Measuring the acoustic properties of wood is not feasible for most luthiers, so identifying simple, valid criteria for diagnosis remains an exciting challenge when selecting materials for manufacturing musical instruments. This article aims to verify whether the bark qualities as a marker of resonance wood are indeed useful. The morphometric and colour traits (in CIELab space) of the bark scales were compared with the structural (width and regularity of the growth rings and of the latewood) and acoustic features (transverse sound velocity, radiation ratio, impedance, and wood basic density) of the wood from 145 standing and 10 felled spruce trees, which are considered a resource of the resonance wood in the Romanian Carpathians. It has been emphasized that the spruce trees with acoustic and structural features that match the requirements for the manufacture of violins have a bark phenotype distinguishable by colour (higher redness, lower yellowness and brightness)—as well as by scale shape (higher slenderness and width). The south-facing side of the trunk and the external side of the scale are best for identifying resonance trees by their bark. Additionally, the mature bark phenotypes denote topoclinal variations and do not depend on tree age. Moreover, the differences among bark phenotypes are noticeable to the naked eye. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Phenotypic Variation in Tree Crops Biodiversity)
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Open AccessArticle
Drivers of the Distribution of Ecological Species Groups in Temperate Deciduous Managed Forests in the Western Carpathian Mountains
Forests 2019, 10(9), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090798 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Managed broadleaf deciduous forests are an important type of forest vegetation in Central Europe, also in the Western Carpathians. These forests are both economically and environmentally valuable. However, little is known about ecological species groups and the inter-specific associations of dominant species in [...] Read more.
Managed broadleaf deciduous forests are an important type of forest vegetation in Central Europe, also in the Western Carpathians. These forests are both economically and environmentally valuable. However, little is known about ecological species groups and the inter-specific associations of dominant species in temperate deciduous managed forests in Central Europe. Since the forest stands are in a managed landscape, they are not consistent with the traditionally recognized and used vegetation associations in the Western Carpathians. For these reasons our research contributes to understanding the consequences of broadleaf deciduous forest management. The aim of this research was the determination of ecological species groups and an investigation into the main environmental drivers, in order to explain the distribution of ecological species groups. The numerical TWINSPAN classification was selected to distribute 146 relevés to the five ecological species groups. Of these, 77 relevés were divided into two groups with Fagus sylvatica dominant, while 63 relevés were Quercus petraea dominant. Carpinus betulus, Tilia cordata and Fraxinus excelsior were dominant in 19 relevés. Constrained Analysis of Principal Components was used to explain the vegetation–environment relationship on three transects in the Male Karpaty Mountains. Altitude, pH, Ca, C, K and Mg were selected as the significant environmental drivers responsible for a large part of the species group variability (31.8%). The main requirement for sustainable forest management is knowledge of the vegetation–environment relationship and this research was focused on gaining such understanding. This knowledge can be used as a decision support tool for sustainable management in managed deciduous forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Composition and Diversity of Soil Bacterial and Fungal Communities Along an Urban-To-Rural Gradient in South China
Forests 2019, 10(9), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090797 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 164
Abstract
Soil microbes are of great significance to driving the biogeochemical cycles and are affected by multiple factors, including urbanization. However, the response of soil microbes to urbanization remains unclear. Therefore, we designed an urban-to-rural gradient experiment to investigate the response of soil microbial [...] Read more.
Soil microbes are of great significance to driving the biogeochemical cycles and are affected by multiple factors, including urbanization. However, the response of soil microbes to urbanization remains unclear. Therefore, we designed an urban-to-rural gradient experiment to investigate the response of soil microbial composition and diversity to urbanization. Here, we used a high-throughput sequencing method to analyze the biotic and abiotic effects on soil microbial composition and diversity along the urban-to-rural gradient. Our results showed that soil bacterial diversity was the highest in urban areas, followed by suburban areas, and was the lowest in exurbs; however, fungal diversity did not vary significantly among the three areas. Plant traits, i.e., tree richness, shrub richness, the number of tree stems, diameter at breast height of trees, and soil properties, i.e., pH, soil organic carbon, soil exchangeable calcium and magnesium, and soil water content, were only significantly influenced bacterial diversity, but not fungal diversity. The effect of trees and shrubs was higher than that of herbs on microbial composition. Soil organic carbon, pH, soil available nitrogen, soil exchangeable calcium, and magnesium were the major soil factors influencing the soil bacterial and fungal composition. Soil properties had a greater influence on bacterial than on fungal composition at genus level, while plant traits contributed more to fungal than to bacterial composition at genus level. Our study suggests that the urban-to-rural gradient affect the composition and diversity of bacterial community as well as the fungal composition, but not the fungal diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Vegetation Restoration on the Distribution of Nutrients, Glomalin-Related Soil Protein, and Enzyme Activity in Soil Aggregates on the Loess Plateau, China
Forests 2019, 10(9), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090796 - 12 Sep 2019
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Abstract
Research Highlights: Soil enzymes have a significant impact on the production of glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), directly and indirectly affecting the nutrient metabolism balance, but there is little available information on ecological stoichiometry in soil aggregates. Background and Objectives: Vegetation restoration changes community [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Soil enzymes have a significant impact on the production of glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), directly and indirectly affecting the nutrient metabolism balance, but there is little available information on ecological stoichiometry in soil aggregates. Background and Objectives: Vegetation restoration changes community structure and species composition in ecosystems, thus changing the physicochemical properties of soil. Soil aggregate is the most basic physical structure of the soil. Therefore, in order to understand dynamic changes in soil aggregate nutrients as vegetation restoration progresses, we set out to investigate the nutrient distribution and utilization in aggregates, and how enzymes respond to the nutrient changes in achieving a nutritional balance along successive stages of vegetation restoration. Materials and Methods: We collected and analyzed soil from plots representing six different stages of a vegetation restoration chronosequence (0, 30, 60, 100, 130, and 160 years) after farmland abandonment on the Loess Plateau, China. We investigated soil nutrient stoichiometry, GRSP, and enzyme stoichiometry in the different successional stages. Results: The results revealed that soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, enzyme activity, and GRSP increased with vegetation recovery age, but not total phosphorus, and not all enzymes reached their maximum in the climax forest community. The easily extractable GRSP/total GRSP ratio was the largest at the shrub community stage, indicating that glomalin degradation was the lowest at this stage. Ecological stoichiometry revealed N-limitation decreased and P-limitation increased with increasing vegetation restoration age. Soil enzymes had a significant impact on the GRSP production, directly and indirectly affecting nutrient metabolism balance. Conclusions: Further study of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to identify changes in their category and composition is needed for a better understanding of how soil enzymes affect their release of GRSP, in order to maintain a nutrient balance along successive stages of vegetation restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Aboveground Biomass Response to Release Treatments in a Young Ponderosa Pine Plantation
Forests 2019, 10(9), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090795 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Controlling competing vegetation is vital for early plantation establishment and growth. Aboveground biomass (AGB) response to manual grubbing release from shrub competition was compared with no release control in a twelve-year-old ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson) plantation established after [...] Read more.
Controlling competing vegetation is vital for early plantation establishment and growth. Aboveground biomass (AGB) response to manual grubbing release from shrub competition was compared with no release control in a twelve-year-old ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson) plantation established after a wildfire in northeastern California. In addition, response to chemical release followed by precommercial thinning in an adjacent plantation was also examined as a growth potential from a more intensively managed regime, where shrub competition was virtually eliminated. We measured AGB in both planted trees and competing woody shrubs to partition the biomass pools in the plantation. The results showed a significant grubbing treatment effect on basal diameter (BD) at 10 cm aboveground (p = 0.02), but not on tree height (p = 0.055). Height and BD were 2.0 m and 7.4 cm in the manual release, respectively, compared to 1.7 m and 5.6 cm in the control. However, chemical release produced much greater rates of tree growth with a height of 3.6 m and BD of 14.7 cm, respectively. Tree AGB was 60% higher with the manual release of shrubs (1.2 Mg ha−1) than with control (0.7 Mg ha−1) (p < 0.05). The planted area without shrub competition yielded a much higher green tree biomass (16.0 Mg ha−1). When woody shrub biomass was included, the total AGB (trees and woody shrubs) appeared slightly higher, but non-significant in the no release control (13.3 Mg ha−1) than in the manual release (11.9 Mg ha−1) (p = 0.66); the chemical release had 17.1 Mg ha−1. Clearly, shrub biomass dominated this young plantation when understory shrubs were not completely controlled. Although the manual release did increase targeted tree growth to some degree, the cost may limit this practice to a smaller scale and the remaining shrub dominance may create long-term reductions in growth and a persistent fuels problem in these fire-prone ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Achieve Effective Participation of Communities in the Monitoring of REDD+ Projects: A Case Study in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Forests 2019, 10(9), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090794 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Developing countries that implement the Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are required to ensure the effective participation of all stakeholders including indigenous peoples and local communities. Community-based monitoring (CBM) of [...] Read more.
Developing countries that implement the Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are required to ensure the effective participation of all stakeholders including indigenous peoples and local communities. Community-based monitoring (CBM) of REDD+ projects could contribute to meeting REDD+ monitoring, reporting, and verification requirements and to ensuring effective community participation. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the most advanced country in REDD+ implementation in the Congo Basin region, but the role of forest communities in REDD+ monitoring has not been adequately defined. Based on a Delphi survey, this study aimed to explore the factors that are crucial in achieving effective community participation in the monitoring of REDD+ projects. Out of 65 experts with in-depth knowledge of REDD+ and CBM in the DRC and elsewhere, 35 agreed to participate in the study. In three rounds, 19 feedbacks were received from the first round, 17 from the second and 14 from the third. Data were analyzed in a qualitative (MAXQDA) and quantitative (Microsoft Excel) manner. There was consensus among experts that, per definition, effective participation of communities in the monitoring of REDD+ projects must be a process characterized by a free and prior informed consent (FPIC), recognition of traditional knowledge and community rights, and involvement of communities in all steps of the monitoring process. In practice, the latter point poses several challenges as it requires capacity building, careful selection of indicators, adequate local institutional arrangements and a benefit-sharing system. Ideally, local CBM systems should be nested within the national forest monitoring system, but this will require more strategic efforts at the national level in the DRC, including a framework concept for the role of communities and CBM in REDD+ that can be further adapted to particular circumstances on the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Open AccessArticle
Individual Rubber Tree Segmentation Based on Ground-Based LiDAR Data and Faster R-CNN of Deep Learning
Forests 2019, 10(9), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090793 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Rubber trees in southern China are often impacted by natural disturbances that can result in a tilted tree body. Accurate crown segmentation for individual rubber trees from scanned point clouds is an essential prerequisite for accurate tree parameter retrieval. In this paper, three [...] Read more.
Rubber trees in southern China are often impacted by natural disturbances that can result in a tilted tree body. Accurate crown segmentation for individual rubber trees from scanned point clouds is an essential prerequisite for accurate tree parameter retrieval. In this paper, three plots of different rubber tree clones, PR107, CATAS 7-20-59, and CATAS 8-7-9, were taken as the study subjects. Through data collection using ground-based mobile light detection and ranging (LiDAR), a voxelisation method based on the scanned tree trunk data was proposed, and deep images (i.e., images normally used for deep learning) were generated through frontal and lateral projection transform of point clouds in each voxel with a length of 8 m and a width of 3 m. These images provided the training and testing samples for the faster region-based convolutional neural network (Faster R-CNN) of deep learning. Consequently, the Faster R-CNN combined with the generated training samples comprising 802 deep images with pre-marked trunk locations was trained to automatically recognize the trunk locations in the testing samples, which comprised 359 deep images. Finally, the point clouds for the lower parts of each trunk were extracted through back-projection transform from the recognized trunk locations in the testing samples and used as the seed points for the region’s growing algorithm to accomplish individual rubber tree crown segmentation. Compared with the visual inspection results, the recognition rate of our method reached 100% for the deep images of the testing samples when the images contained one or two trunks or the trunk information was slightly occluded by leaves. For the complicated cases, i.e., multiple trunks or overlapping trunks in one deep image or a trunk appearing in two adjacent deep images, the recognition accuracy of our method was greater than 90%. Our work represents a new method that combines a deep learning framework with point cloud processing for individual rubber tree crown segmentation based on ground-based mobile LiDAR scanned data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Landscape Fragmentation on Genetic Diversity of Male-Biased Dioecious Plant Pistacia chinensis Bunge Populations
Forests 2019, 10(9), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090792 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Pistacia chinensis Bunge (Anacardiaceae) is a dioecious woody plant of significant economic values that is used in traditional Chinese Medicine as well as for wood production. More importantly, it is one of the ideal tree species for bio-diesel production because of the high [...] Read more.
Pistacia chinensis Bunge (Anacardiaceae) is a dioecious woody plant of significant economic values that is used in traditional Chinese Medicine as well as for wood production. More importantly, it is one of the ideal tree species for bio-diesel production because of the high oil content in its seeds. In this study, we aim to reveal the effects of landscape fragmentation on the genetic diversity (GD) of the dioecious plant Pistacia chinensis populations. A total of nine microsatellites were used to genotype 180 P. chinensis individuals from six populations to estimate the differences in GD between different populations. The study revealed that genetic diversity of the P. chinensis population as a whole is relatively high in the Thousand-Island Lake (TIL) region, but its fragmented landscape still led to the loss of rare alleles, especially in a fragmented small population, a post-fragmented population, and a male population. The partitioning of a large continuous population into small isolated remnant patches led to the direct loss of genetic diversity and, subsequently, because of the mediated gene flow of seeds and pollen, genetic drift, and the spatial distribution of existing plants, the GD gradually decreased. The restricted gene flow and the increase in self-pollination and inbreeding impaired the population’s long-term development. Therefore, the wild P. chinensis populations in the TIL region needs effective protective measures, including foreign artificial pollination and seedling transplantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Wood Surface Changes of Heat-Treated Cunninghamia lanceolate Following Natural Weathering
Forests 2019, 10(9), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090791 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 231
Abstract
To quickly clarify the effect of heat treatment on weatherability of Cunninghamia lanceolate (Lamb.) Hook., we investigated the surface degradation under natural exposure. A comparison between heat-treated and untreated samples was taken based on surface color changes and structural decay at each interval. [...] Read more.
To quickly clarify the effect of heat treatment on weatherability of Cunninghamia lanceolate (Lamb.) Hook., we investigated the surface degradation under natural exposure. A comparison between heat-treated and untreated samples was taken based on surface color changes and structural decay at each interval. Over four weeks of natural exposure, multiple measurements were carried out. Results show that color change decreased in the order of 220 °C heat-treated > untreated > 190 °C heat-treated. The results also indicate that the wood surface color stability was improved via the proper temperature of thermal modification. Low vacuum scanning electron microscopy (LVSEM) results expressed that thermal modification itself had caused shrinking in the wood surface structure. From the beginning of the weathering process, the heat treatment affected the surface structural stability. After natural exposure, the degree of wood structure decay followed the pattern 220 °C heat-treated > 190 °C heat-treated > untreated. Therefore, when considering the impact on the structure, thermal modification treatment as a protective measure to prevent weathering was not an ideal approach and requires further improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Bird Traits on Seed Dispersal of Endangered Taxus chinensis (Pilger) Rehd. with Ex-Situ and In-Situ Conservation
Forests 2019, 10(9), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090790 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Biodiversity is rapidly decreasing worldwide. Its great importance has been attached to conservation through in-situ and ex-situ management. Animal-mediated seed dispersal is an important ecological process, linking the threatened plants and animal partners in ex-situ habitats, and in turn affecting tree conservation. However, [...] Read more.
Biodiversity is rapidly decreasing worldwide. Its great importance has been attached to conservation through in-situ and ex-situ management. Animal-mediated seed dispersal is an important ecological process, linking the threatened plants and animal partners in ex-situ habitats, and in turn affecting tree conservation. However, how bird traits affect seed dispersal within in-situ and ex-situ conservation still remains unclear. Here, we aim to answer this question. We tested whether bird traits affect seed deposition and seedling recruitment. Our results showed that 19 bird species foraged and removed Taxus chinensis (Pilger) Rehd. seeds across botanical gardens (ex-situ) and natural reserves (in-situ). The seed dispersal pattern of T. chinensis varied in the stages of seed removal and seed deposition, but showed no significant difference in the seedling recruitment stage. This showed that bird morphological and behavioral traits affected seed dispersal through the different contributions of varying bird species. Large birds and their high visitation frequency played a central role in seed removal patterns. The frequency of post-foraging habitat use was the most important factor determining the role of birds in seed deposition and the following seedling recruitment. Urocissa erythrorhyncha and Chloropsis hardwickii played the role of keystone species in seed deposition and seedling recruitment, respectively. Our results highlight the importance of bird traits in facilitating the seed dispersal of trees within in-situ and ex-situ conservation, which should be considered in future forest conservation and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Does Deforestation Trigger Severe Flood Damage at Hoeryeong City in North Korea?
Forests 2019, 10(9), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090789 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 203
Abstract
North Korea has suffered flood damage every year since 1995. It is assumed that this damage is linked to deforestation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of deforestation on the occurrence of floods in North Korea using spatial [...] Read more.
North Korea has suffered flood damage every year since 1995. It is assumed that this damage is linked to deforestation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of deforestation on the occurrence of floods in North Korea using spatial statistical techniques. The research was conducted at Hoeryeong City, which experienced disastrous flooding in 2016. A land-use change map was produced using two Landsat data sets from 1977 and 2016. The flood-damaged areas map, landform map, and the distance from the nearest stream map were also used in the spatial statistical analysis. In the deforestation zone, area of soil loss over 200 tons/yr increased by 14 km2 (16.6%), while that under 50 tons/yr decreased by 25 km2 (29.3%). In addition, the land-use change, runoff coefficient, and peak time runoff increased from 0.31 to 0.46, 56.3 mm/hr to 60.8 mm/hr, and 128.2 m3/sec to 206.6 m3/sec, respectively. Also, spatial statistical analysis results showed that land-use change was concluded to strongly affect the occurrence of floods. In conclusion, deforestation at Hoeryeong City contributed to severe flooding due to changes in land-use policy. The results of this study will help decision makers to establish the North Korean forest restoration policy and countermeasures against flood damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects on Greenhouse Gas (CH4, CO2, N2O) Emissions of Conversion from Over-Mature Forest to Secondary Forest and Korean Pine Plantation in Northeast China
Forests 2019, 10(9), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090788 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 186
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the seasonal variations of Greenhouse Gas fluxes (CH4, CO2, and N2O), Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and Global Warming Potential (GWP) over the extent of the regions and understand the controlling factors. CH [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the seasonal variations of Greenhouse Gas fluxes (CH4, CO2, and N2O), Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and Global Warming Potential (GWP) over the extent of the regions and understand the controlling factors. CH4, CO2, and N2O fluxes were measured along with their environmental variables from the over-mature forest, Korean pine plantation, and five 60-year-old natural secondary forests in mountainous regions in Northeast China from May 2015 to April 2016. The results revealed that secondary forests, except for Betula platyphylla forest, significantly increased CH4 absorption by 19.6% to 51.0% and 32.6% to 67.0% compared with over-mature forest (OMF) and Korean pine plantation (KPP). Five secondary forests significantly increased CO2 flux by 32.9% to 78.6% and 14.1% to 53.4% compared with OMF and KPP, respectively. According to the annual statistics, the N2O fluxes had significant differences among seven forest types and decreased in the following order: mixed deciduous forest (MDF) > OMF > KPP > Populous davidiana forest (PDF) > hardwood forest (HWF) > Mongolian oak forest (MOF) > Betula platyphylla forest (BPF). The CH4 absorption and CO2 emission peaks occurred in summer, while the peak N2O fluxes occurred in spring. Stepwise multiple linear regression showed that CH4 and CO2 fluxes from soils were strongly influenced by air and soil temperature, soil volumetric water content (SVWC), nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N), and soil organic carbon (SOC) across the whole year. Air temperature, SVWC, pH, NO3-N, and NH4+-N were the dominant factors controlling N2O fluxes from OMF and five secondary forests (except for BPF). No significant relationships were observed between these environmental factors and N2O fluxes from KPP and BPF. Additionally, the total cumulative CH4, CO2, and N2O fluxes were –13.37 t CH4 year−1, 41,608.96 t CO2 year−1, and 3.24 t N2O year−1, and the total cumulative GWP were 42,151.87 t CO2 eq year−1 through the whole year in seven forest types at the Maoershan Ecosystem Research Station in Northeast China. For the annual GWP per hectare, secondary forests and KPP averaged a higher GWP by 33.7%–80.1% and 17.9% compared with OMF. This indicates that the effects of early human activities have not been completely eliminated in the middle stage of KPP and secondary forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Reference Genes for Quantitative Gene Expression Studies in Pinus massoniana and Its Introgression Hybrid
Forests 2019, 10(9), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090787 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 156
Abstract
qRT-PCR is a powerful molecular research tool to study the regulation of gene expression. However, to accurately calculate gene expression levels, an experiment should include proper reference genes that show no changes in their expression level. Pinus massoniana, P. hwangshanensis, and [...] Read more.
qRT-PCR is a powerful molecular research tool to study the regulation of gene expression. However, to accurately calculate gene expression levels, an experiment should include proper reference genes that show no changes in their expression level. Pinus massoniana, P. hwangshanensis, and their introgression hybrid in Mountain Lushan, China, are an ideal model for studying introgression and speciation. Although some research on reference gene selection for P. massoniana has been reported before, no studies on this subject have been performed where P. massoniana and its introgression hybrid were evaluated simultaneously. Here, we investigated ten genes (upLOC, SDH, ACT, EF, TOC75, DMWD, FBOX, PGK1, UBQ, and CL2417C7) identified from transcriptome data of these two taxa for reference gene potential. These ten genes were then screened across multiple tissues such as cone, young and mature stems, and young needles according to qRT-PCR thermal cycling and dissociation. Correlation coefficient, amplification efficiency, and cycle threshold value (Ct) range were applied to evaluate the reliability of each gene. The stability of candidate reference gene expression was calculated using three algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper. Base on the reliability and stability, we then offered a list of genes of recommended and not recommended for seven different tissue type and species. Our results demonstrated that different sample lines require different genes as reference to evaluate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Genetic and Tree Improvement)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficiency of the CL, DRIS and CND Methods in Assessing the Nutritional Status of Eucalyptus spp. Rooted Cuttings
Forests 2019, 10(9), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090786 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 204
Abstract
The efficiency of methods in adequately interpreting the nutritional status of Eucalyptus spp. rooted cuttings remains unknown. The aim was to evaluate the quality of diagnoses obtained using the critical level (CL), diagnosis and recommendation integrated system (DRIS) and compositional nutrient diagnosis (CND) [...] Read more.
The efficiency of methods in adequately interpreting the nutritional status of Eucalyptus spp. rooted cuttings remains unknown. The aim was to evaluate the quality of diagnoses obtained using the critical level (CL), diagnosis and recommendation integrated system (DRIS) and compositional nutrient diagnosis (CND) methods to assess the nutritional status of Eucalyptus spp. rooted cuttings, based on two different yield indicators. The data were obtained from commercial nursery and calibration experiments, using seven nutrients as treatments (N, P, K, Mg, Ca, B and Fe) and four concentrations per nutrient, arranged in randomized blocks, with four repetitions. The Eucalyptus spp. clone used in the experiments was AEC 0144. A total of 222 rooted cuttings were obtained from the experimental area and commercial nurseries and the following were determined: leaf nutrient content, whole plant dry matter (DM) content and the Dickson quality index (DQI). Diagnostic accuracy in the experimental plots was ascertained by comparing the diagnosis with plant response as a function of adding the corresponding nutrient. Five measures of accuracy were used to test the efficiency of the diagnostic methods: total accuracy, accuracy for deficiency and sufficiency, deficiency ratio, efficiency ratio, and the net increase in in DM and DQI. The performance of diagnostic methods varied between CL, DRIS and CND, and among the nutrients studied. Given that the seedling production system is largely more controlled, where environmental variations are minimal, and considering that the different diagnostic methods exhibited distinct performance in terms of assessing the true nutritional status of eucalyptus rooted cuttings, the CL method is the most indicated for this situation, due to its better performance in evaluating the nutritional status of most nutrients and easy implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Scaling Up Sap Flow Measurements from the Stem Scale to the Individual Scale for Multibranched Caragana Korshinskii on the Chinese Loess Plateau
Forests 2019, 10(9), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090785 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 188
Abstract
The traditional heat balance method for measuring plant sap flow (SF) becomes troublesome and uneconomic for multibranched shrub species if all their stems are used for the measurement. The objectives of this study were to explore specific relationships between stem-scale SF and plant [...] Read more.
The traditional heat balance method for measuring plant sap flow (SF) becomes troublesome and uneconomic for multibranched shrub species if all their stems are used for the measurement. The objectives of this study were to explore specific relationships between stem-scale SF and plant morphological traits and then to scale up SF measurements from the stem scale to the individual scale for Caragana korshinskii Kom., a dominant shrub species on the Chinese Loess Plateau. Sap flow was measured for twenty-one stems from three representative individuals from July to September 2018 during the rainy season. The results indicated that the stem-scale SF in C. korshinskii presented a positive linear correlation with the stem base diameter (SBD), stem length (SL), primary branch numbers in the stem (PBN), and estimated stem biomass (W). The SBD-based statistical models performed well in estimating the stem-scale SF, with an R2 value of 0.9726 and root mean squared error (RMSE) of 2.5389 g h−1. Over the canopy projection area, the individual-scale transpiration flows for the three selected C. korshinskii were 1.91, 1.10, and 1.59 mm·d−1. In addition, stem-scale SF was positively and linearly correlated with air temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, vapor pressure deficit, reference crop evapotranspiration, and variable transpiration. This study sheds light on morphological and meteorological influences on stem-scale SF and has made contributes to the accurate and rapid estimation of the plant sap flow from easily available morphological traits for multibranched shrub species in semiarid regions. Limitations, however, may exist for the established model when it is used to estimate SF of C. korshinskii during the water-limited dry season. Our study deserves further exploration of a more general model to have a better estimation of SF for C. korshinskii in both dry and rainy seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Controls of Diurnal and Seasonal Variations in the Stem Radius of Platycladus orientalis in Northern China
Forests 2019, 10(9), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090784 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Fine-resolution studies of stem radial variation over short timescales throughout the year can provide insight into intra-annual stem dynamics and improve our understanding of climate impacts on tree physiology and growth processes. Using data from high-resolution point dendrometers collected from Platycladus orientalis (Linn.) [...] Read more.
Fine-resolution studies of stem radial variation over short timescales throughout the year can provide insight into intra-annual stem dynamics and improve our understanding of climate impacts on tree physiology and growth processes. Using data from high-resolution point dendrometers collected from Platycladus orientalis (Linn.) trees between September 2013 and December 2014, this study investigated the daily and seasonal patterns of stem radial variation in addition to the relationships between daily stem radial variation and environmental factors over the growing season. Two contrasting daily cycle patterns were observed for warm and cold seasons. A daily mean air temperature of 0 °C was a critical threshold that was related to seasonal shifts in stem diurnal cycle patterns, indicating that air temperature critically influences diurnal stem cycles. The annual variation in P. orientalis stem radius variation can be divided into four distinct periods including (1) spring rehydration, (2) the summer growing season, (3) autumn stagnation, and (4) winter contraction. These periods reflect seasonal changes in tree water status that are especially pronounced in spring and winter. During the growing season, the maximum daily shrinkage (MDS) of P. orientalis was positively correlated with air temperature (Ta) and negatively correlated with soil water content (SWC) and precipitation (P). The vapor pressure deficit (VPD) also exhibited a threshold-based control on MDS at values below or above 0.8 kPa. Daily radial changes (DRC) were negatively correlated with Ta and VPD but positively correlated with relative air humidity (RH) and P. These results suggest that the above environmental factors are associated with tree water status via their influence on moisture availability to trees, which in turn affects the metrics of daily stem variation including MDS and DRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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