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Forests, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 103 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Horizontal and Vertical Distributions of Heartwood for Teak Plantation
Forests 2020, 11(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020225 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Tectona grandis is a valuable timber species with heartwood that is used worldwide. Most of the previous studies on its heartwood and sapwood have focused on dominant or mean trees, while trees with different social status might show different vertical and horizontal distributions [...] Read more.
Tectona grandis is a valuable timber species with heartwood that is used worldwide. Most of the previous studies on its heartwood and sapwood have focused on dominant or mean trees, while trees with different social status might show different vertical and horizontal distributions of heartwood and sapwood. Studies on their heartwood and sapwood properties could be conducive to increasing heartwood yield at stand level. In 31-year-old plantations of T. grandis in southwest Guangxi, China, the trees were divided into three groups including dominant, mean and suppressed trees. Stem analysis was conducted for sampled trees in each of these groups to explore the differences in the horizontal and vertical distribution of their heartwood and sapwood. The results indicated that the heartwood radius, heartwood and sapwood areas of T. grandis showed significant differences in horizontal and vertical directions among trees of different social status. Heartwood began to form when xylem radius was 2–3 cm, and the heartwood radius ratio tended to be stable when the xylem radius reached about 8 cm. Heartwood radius and area, sapwood area and section heartwood volume all decreased with increasing tree height. The ratios of heartwood radius and area were relatively stable for sections under 50% of tree height. The sapwood width did not vary largely in horizontal and vertical directions among the three social status tree groups, which mainly fluctuated in the range of 1–4 cm. The heartwood volume proportions for dominant, mean and suppressed trees were 60%, 55% and 51%, respectively. There was a significant exponential relationship between heartwood volume and diameter at breast height (DBH) regardless of social status. The model HV = 0.000011 × DBH2.9787 (R2 = 0.8601) could accurately estimate heartwood volume for all T. grandis with different social statuses at this age. These findings could provide evidence for stand management and high-quality and large-sized timber production of T. grandis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Progressive Hedging Approach to Solve Harvest Scheduling Problem under Climate Change
Forests 2020, 11(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020224 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Due to the long time horizon typically characterizing forest planning, uncertainty plays an important role when developing forest management plans. Especially important is the uncertainty related to recently human-induced global warming since it has a clear impact on forest capacity to contribute to [...] Read more.
Due to the long time horizon typically characterizing forest planning, uncertainty plays an important role when developing forest management plans. Especially important is the uncertainty related to recently human-induced global warming since it has a clear impact on forest capacity to contribute to biogenic and anthropogenic ecosystem services. If the forest manager ignores uncertainty, the resulting forest management plan may be sub-optimal, in the best case. This paper presents a methodology to incorporate uncertainty due to climate change into forest management planning. Specifically, this paper addresses the problem of harvest planning, i.e., defining which stands are to be cut in each planning period in order to maximize expected net revenues, considering several climate change scenarios. This study develops a solution approach for a planning problem for a eucalyptus forest with 1000 stands located in central Portugal where expected future conditions are anticipated by considering a set of climate scenarios. The model including all the constraints that link all the scenarios and spatial adjacency constraints leads to a very large problem that can only be solved by decomposing it into scenarios. For this purpose, we solve the problem using Progressive Hedging (PH) algorithm, which decomposes the problem into scenario sub-problems easier to solve. To analyze the performance of PH versus the use of the extensive form (EF), we solve several instances of the original problem using both approaches. Results show that PH outperforms the EF in both solving time and final optimality gap. In addition, the use of PH allows to solve the most difficult problems while the commercial solvers are not able to solve the EF. The approach presented allows the planner to develop more robust management plans that incorporate the uncertainty due to climate change in their plans. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparing Individual Tree Height Information Derived from Field Surveys, LiDAR and UAV-DAP for High-Value Timber Species in Northern Japan
Forests 2020, 11(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020223 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
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Abstract
High-value timber species such as monarch birch (Betula maximowicziana Regel), castor aralia (Kalopanax septemlobus (Thunb.) Koidz), and Japanese oak (Quercus crispula Blume) play important ecological and economic roles in forest management in the cool temperate mixed forests in northern Japan. [...] Read more.
High-value timber species such as monarch birch (Betula maximowicziana Regel), castor aralia (Kalopanax septemlobus (Thunb.) Koidz), and Japanese oak (Quercus crispula Blume) play important ecological and economic roles in forest management in the cool temperate mixed forests in northern Japan. The accurate measurement of their tree height is necessary for both practical management and scientific reasons such as estimation of biomass and site index. In this study, we investigated the similarity of individual tree heights derived from conventional field survey, digital aerial photographs derived from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV-DAP) data and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. We aimed to assess the applicability of UAV-DAP in obtaining individual tree height information for large-sized high-value broadleaf species. The spatial position, tree height, and diameter at breast height (DBH) were measured in the field for 178 trees of high-value broadleaf species. In addition, we manually derived individual tree height information from UAV-DAP and LiDAR data with the aid of spatial position data and high resolution orthophotographs. Tree heights from three different sources were cross-compared statistically through paired sample t-test, correlation coefficient, and height-diameter model. We found that UAV-DAP derived tree heights were highly correlated with LiDAR tree height and field measured tree height. The performance of individual tree height measurement using traditional field survey is likely to be influenced by individual species. Overall mean height difference between LiDAR and UAV-DAP derived tree height indicates that UAV-DAP could underestimate individual tree height for target high-value timber species. The height-diameter models revealed that tree height derived from LiDAR and UAV-DAP could be better explained by DBH with lower prediction errors than field measured tree height. We confirmed the applicability of UAV-DAP data for obtaining the individual tree height of large-size high-value broadleaf species with comparable accuracy to LiDAR and field survey. The result of this study will be useful for the species-specific forest management of economically high-value timber species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Resources Assessments: Mensuration, Inventory and Planning)
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Open AccessArticle
Dwarf Mistletoe Infection Interacts with Tree Growth Rate to Produce Opposing Direct and Indirect Effects on Resin Duct Defenses in Lodgepole Pine
Forests 2020, 11(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020222 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Research Highlights: I sought to disentangle the influences of tree age, growth rate, and dwarf mistletoe infection on resin duct defenses in lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon, revealing the presence of direct positive and indirect negative effects of mistletoe on defenses. [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: I sought to disentangle the influences of tree age, growth rate, and dwarf mistletoe infection on resin duct defenses in lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon, revealing the presence of direct positive and indirect negative effects of mistletoe on defenses. Background and Objectives: For protection against natural enemies, pines produce and store oleoresin (resin) in ‘resin ducts’ that occur throughout the tree. Dwarf mistletoe, Arceuthobium americanum Nutt. ex Engelm. (hereafter “mistletoe”), is a widespread parasitic plant affecting the pines of western North America. Infection by mistletoe can suppress pine growth and increase the probability of insect attack—possibly due to a reduction in resin duct defenses or in the potency of chemical defenses at higher levels of mistletoe infection, as reported in Pinus banksiana Lamb. However, the influence of mistletoe infection on defenses in other pine species remains unclear. I hypothesized that mistletoe infection would induce greater resin duct defenses in P. contorta while simultaneously suppressing annual growth, which was expected to reduce defenses. Materials and Methods: Using increment cores from P. contorta trees occurring in a subalpine forest of Colorado, USA, I quantified tree age, annual growth, annual resin duct production (#/annual ring), and cross-sectional area (mm2 of resin ducts/annual ring). Results: Mistletoe infection increased with tree age and had a direct positive relationship with resin duct defenses. However, mistletoe infection also had an indirect negative influence on defenses via the suppression of annual growth. Conclusions: Through the combined direct and indirect effects, mistletoe infection had a net positive impact on resin duct production but a net negative impact on the total resin duct area. This finding highlights the complexity of pine defense responses to natural enemies and that future work is needed to understand how these responses influence overall levels of resistance and the risk of mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotic Interactions in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessCommunication
Dynamics of Territorial Occupation by North American Beavers in Canadian Boreal Forests: A Novel Dendroecological Approach
Forests 2020, 11(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020221 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
Research Highlights: Our study highlights a new, simple, and effective method for studying the habitat use by beavers in Canadian boreal forests. Information regarding the presence of beaver colonies and their habitat occupation is essential for proper forest management and damage prevention in [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Our study highlights a new, simple, and effective method for studying the habitat use by beavers in Canadian boreal forests. Information regarding the presence of beaver colonies and their habitat occupation is essential for proper forest management and damage prevention in the boreal forest. Background and Objectives: The North American beaver (Castor canadensis) is a major element of natural disturbance, altering the dynamics and structure of boreal forest landscapes. Beaver-related activities also affect human infrastructure, cause floods, and lead to important monetary losses for forestry industries. Our study aimed to determine the spatiotemporal patterns of beaver occupation of lodges over time. Materials and Methods: Using a dendroecological approach to date browsing activity, we studied the occupation of two lodges per water body for eight water bodies located in the boreal forest of Québec, Canada. Results: Three sites showed alternating patterns of lodge use (occupation) over time, three sites (37.5%) demonstrated no alternating patterns of use, and two sites (25%) presented unclear patterns of lodge use. Conclusions: Alternating patterns of lodge use can be linked to food depletion and the need to regenerate vegetation around lodges, while non-alternating patterns may be related to fluctuations in water levels, the specific shrub and tree species surrounding the lodges, the size of the beaver territory, and the number of lodges present on a water body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
A Method of Finding HCT Roundwood Corridors for Reduction of GHG Emissions and Fuel Costs in Sweden
Forests 2020, 11(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020220 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 108
Abstract
Background and Objectives: in Sweden during 2016, 71.6 million metric tonnes (t) of forest biomass (roundwood and forest fuels) were transported by truck, corresponding to approximately 15% of all national goods truck transport. To reduce the environmental impact of forest product transports and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: in Sweden during 2016, 71.6 million metric tonnes (t) of forest biomass (roundwood and forest fuels) were transported by truck, corresponding to approximately 15% of all national goods truck transport. To reduce the environmental impact of forest product transports and meet Swedish climate goals, the use of 90 t high-capacity transport (HCT) trucks on well-chosen routes has been identified as one potential measure. The objective was, therefore, to develop a method of finding the geographical occurrence of potential roundwood HCT corridors for 90 t trucks, as well as estimating their environmental and economic potential in comparison to the conventional 74 t-truck transport system for Swedish conditions. Materials and Methods: the study used data from actual roundwood transports during 2016 along with a digitalization of the Swedish road network (National Road Database, SNVDB) for corridor identification. In four steps we: 1) identified supportive networks, 2) identified flow supporting corridors on the technically supportive networks, 3) applied a calibrated route finder (CRF) to route relevant transports both directly from the landing to the receiver and via the corridor, gathering drive distance information and, for example, 4) analyzed transports fuel consumption and potential CO2 savings. Results: Results showed there was annual potential for 25 HCT corridors throughout Sweden to employ 20 90 t trucks to transport 2.5 Mt of roundwood, reducing up to 5500 t of CO2 and €3.1 M in fuel costs. Conclusions: the study reinforces previous studies’ findings concerning economic and environmental potential using HCT vehicles and identifies terminal establishment and management costs as a bottleneck in successful large-scale implementation of HCT corridors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels)
Open AccessArticle
CO2 Transfer Characteristics of Calcareous Humid Subtropical Forest Soils and Associated Contributions to Carbon Source and Sink in Guilin, Southwest China
Forests 2020, 11(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020219 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
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Abstract
In karst landscapes, soil CO2 is a key factor in weathering processes and carbon cycling, where its distribution and migration characteristics directly affect fluxes in carbon source–sink dynamics. We measured the CO2 emission and dissolution rates of carbonate tablets in calcareous [...] Read more.
In karst landscapes, soil CO2 is a key factor in weathering processes and carbon cycling, where its distribution and migration characteristics directly affect fluxes in carbon source–sink dynamics. We measured the CO2 emission and dissolution rates of carbonate tablets in calcareous soil developed from limestone and red soil developed from clastic rock, in karst and non-karst subtropical forests, in Guilin, southwest China between 2015 and 2018, to analyze their CO2 transfer characteristics and source–sink effects. The results showed similar average soil respiration rates between calcareous soil and red soil, with an average CO2 emission flux of 1305 and 1167 t C km−2 a−1, respectively. Carbonate tablet dissolution rates were bidirectional with increasing depth and were greater in red soil than calcareous soil, averaging 13.88 ± 5.42 and 7.20 ± 2.11 mg cm−2 a−1, respectively. CO2 concentration was bidirectional with increasing soil depth, reaching a maximum at the base of the soil–atmosphere interface (50–60 cm), and the bidirectional gradient was more distinctive in red soil. Change in the carbon isotope value of soil CO2 was also bidirectional in calcareous soils, for which the overall average was 0.87‰ heavier in calcareous than red soil. The carbon sink in calcareous soil in karst regions was estimated to be 11.97 times that of red soil in non-karst regions, whereas its role as a carbon source is just 1.12 times that of red soil, thus indicating the key role of karst soil in the reduction of atmospheric CO2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Cutting, Pruning, and Grafting on the Expression of Age-Related Genes in Larix kaempferi
Forests 2020, 11(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020218 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Grafting, cutting, and pruning are important horticultural techniques widely used in the establishment of clonal forestry. After the application of these techniques, some properties of the plants change, however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. In our previous study, 27 age-related transcripts [...] Read more.
Grafting, cutting, and pruning are important horticultural techniques widely used in the establishment of clonal forestry. After the application of these techniques, some properties of the plants change, however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. In our previous study, 27 age-related transcripts were found to be expressed differentially between the juvenile vegetative (1- and 2-year-old) and adult reproductive (25- and 50-year-old) phases of Larix kaempferi. Here, we re-analyzed the 27 age-related transcripts, cloned their full-length cDNA sequences, and measured their responses to grafting, cutting, and pruning. After sequence analysis and cloning, 20 transcription factors were obtained and annotated, most of which were associated with reproductive development, and six (LaAGL2-1, LaAGL2-2, LaAGL2-3, LaSOC1-1, LaAGL11, and LaAP2-2) showed regular expression patterns with L. kaempferi aging. Based on the expression patterns of these transcription factors in L. kaempferi trees subjected to grafting, cutting, and pruning, we concluded that (1) cutting and pruning rejuvenate the plants and change their expression, and the effects of cutting on gene expression are detectable within 14 years, although the cutting seedlings are still maturing during these years; (2) within three months after grafting, the rootstock is more sensitive to grafting than the scion and readily becomes mature with the effect of the scion, while the scion is not readily rejuvenated by the effect of the rootstock; and (3) LaAGL2-2 and LaAGL2-3 are more sensitive to grafting, while LaAP2-2 is impervious to it. These findings not only provide potential molecular markers to assess the state of plants but also aid in studies of the molecular mechanisms of rejuvenation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Fire Suppression Resource Scarcity: Current Metrics and Future Performance Indicators
Forests 2020, 11(2), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020217 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Wildland fire occurrence is highly variable in time and space, and in the United States where total area burned can vary substantially, acquiring resources (firefighters, engines, aircraft, etc.) to respond to fire demand is an important consideration. To determine the composition and scale [...] Read more.
Wildland fire occurrence is highly variable in time and space, and in the United States where total area burned can vary substantially, acquiring resources (firefighters, engines, aircraft, etc.) to respond to fire demand is an important consideration. To determine the composition and scale of this set of suppression resources managers may utilize data produced by past supply and demand information. The key challenge with this approach is that there is currently no clear system of record to track suppression resource supply and demand, and there are potential pitfalls within existing systems that may provide misleading information regarding the true levels of resource scarcity. In this manuscript, we investigate the issue of resource scarcity by examining two key resources that operations personnel have identified as both high value and scarce: type 1 firefighting crews and large airtankers. We examine data from the Resource Ordering and Status System and analyze the level of resource scarcity indicated by these data over the 2014–2018 fire seasons. We focus on data metrics with potential utility for managers responsible for annual national-level decisions regarding crew and airtanker acquisition; some of these metrics are already used to inform such decisions. We examine the limitations of each metric and suggest new metrics that could more accurately reflect true resource use and scarcity. Such metrics could lead to a substantially improved decision-making process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Litter Management as a Key Factor Relieves Soil Respiration Decay in an Urban-Adjacent Camphor Forest under a Short-Term N Increment
Forests 2020, 11(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020216 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 124
Abstract
Increases in bioavailable nitrogen (N) level can impact the soil carbon (C) sequestration in many forest ecosystems through its influences on litter decomposition and soil respiration (Rs). This study aims to detect whether the litter management can affect the influence of N addition [...] Read more.
Increases in bioavailable nitrogen (N) level can impact the soil carbon (C) sequestration in many forest ecosystems through its influences on litter decomposition and soil respiration (Rs). This study aims to detect whether the litter management can affect the influence of N addition on Rs. We conducted a one-year field experiment in a camphor forest of central-south China to investigate the responses of available N status and soil Rs to N addition and litter manipulation. Four N addition plots (NH4NO3; 0, 5, 15, 30 g N m−2 year−1 as N0, N1, N2, N3, respectively) were established with three nested litter treatments: natural litter input (CK), double litter input (LA), and non-litter input (LR). We found a short-lived enhancement effect of N addition on soil (NO3-N)and net nitrification (RN), but not on (NH4-N), net ammonification (RA), or mineralization (RM). N addition also decreased Rs in CK spots, but not in LA or LR spots, in which the negative effects of N additions on Rs were alleviated by either litter addition or reduction. A priming effect was also observed in LA treatments. A structural equation modeling analysis showed that litter treatments had direct positive effects on soil available N contents and Rs, which suggested that litter decomposition may benefit from litter management when N is not a limiting factor in subtropical forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Advance Regeneration of Norway Spruce and Scots Pine in Hemiboreal Forests in Latvia
Forests 2020, 11(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020215 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Continuous cover forestry (CCF) aims to emulate small natural disturbances and take advantage of natural regeneration. To implement these management practices successfully, knowledge of advance regeneration under the canopy in different conditions is crucial. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess [...] Read more.
Continuous cover forestry (CCF) aims to emulate small natural disturbances and take advantage of natural regeneration. To implement these management practices successfully, knowledge of advance regeneration under the canopy in different conditions is crucial. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the influence of stand inventory parameters of canopy layer (age, basal area, height, and density) on the probability and density of advance regeneration of the Norway spruce (Picea Abies (L.) H. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in hemiboreal forests in Latvia. The data were obtained from the National Forest Inventory, from a total of 879 plots. In the study, only Norway spruce or Scots pine dominated stands were used and the sampled stand age ranged from 21 to 218 years. The probability of advance regeneration differed between stands dominated by Scots pine versus Norway spruce. The probability and density of the advance regeneration of Norway spruce were positively linked to increased stand age, whereas the probability of the advance regeneration of Scots pine was negatively linked to the basal area of the stand. In stands dominated by Norway spruce and Scots pine on mesic soils, the advance regeneration of Norway spruce has a high density, whereas the advance regeneration of Scots pine is sporadic and scarce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Disturbance Dynamics Analysis for Forest Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Effects of Pressure Indicators on Riparian Zone Health Conditions in the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir, China
Forests 2020, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020214 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 113
Abstract
The possible negative impacts of flow regulation on riparian zone conditions can be observed due to the disruption of the natural flow regime in reservoirs. In spite of considerable literature on the qualitative effects of external disturbances on riparian health indicators (RHIs), quantitative [...] Read more.
The possible negative impacts of flow regulation on riparian zone conditions can be observed due to the disruption of the natural flow regime in reservoirs. In spite of considerable literature on the qualitative effects of external disturbances on riparian health indicators (RHIs), quantitative evaluations of such changes induced by pressure are rare in the literature. Our study evaluated the effects of pressure indicators on the RHIs, and the responses of RHIs relevant to the riparian zones of the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR), China, by using the field-based approach. This paper is a component of a large project—rapid appraisal of riparian condition for the TGDR, China. The analysis has compared pressures (13 indicators) and RHIs (27 indicators) determined from the transects (259) identified throughout the TGDR (within 15 counties) by categorizing into upstream, midstream, and downstream. By using basic statistical techniques (Kruskal-Wallis tests and Pearson’s correlation), pressure indicators were found to significantly differently influence RHIs for the categorized three sections of the riparian zones of the TGDR. The correlation analysis confirmed that the pressure indicators correlated (range of r = −0.496–0.971) with the RHIs (enlisted as habitat, plant cover, regeneration, erosion, and exotic parameters). Moreover, pressure indicators were found to have a highly significant influence on erosion and habitat parameters, but moderate effects on plant cover, exotic and regeneration parameters. In addition, the highest relative effect of the pressure indicators was detected in the upstream transects, whereas the lowest was in the downstream transects. Agglomerative Hierarchical Cluster analysis also confirmed the substantial dissimilarity in the upstream transects, whereas significant similarities were identified between midstream and downstream transects. These results may be particularly important in the planning stages, to help administrators and planners form better priorities and treatments for reach-scale conservation and restoration of wide-ranging riparian zones. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Effects of Global Change on Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Rainforest
Forests 2020, 11(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020213 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 110
Abstract
Research Highlights: Ongoing land-use change and climate change in wet tropical forests can potentially drive shifts in tree species composition, representing a change in individual species within a functional group, tropical evergreen trees. The impacts on the global carbon cycle are potentially large, [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Ongoing land-use change and climate change in wet tropical forests can potentially drive shifts in tree species composition, representing a change in individual species within a functional group, tropical evergreen trees. The impacts on the global carbon cycle are potentially large, but unclear. We explored the differential effects of species within this functional group, in comparison with the effects of climate change, using the Century model as a research tool. Simulating effects of individual tree species on biome-level biogeochemical cycles constituted a novel application for Century. Background and Objectives: A unique, long-term, replicated field experiment containing five evergreen tree species in monodominant stands under similar environmental conditions in a Costa Rican wet forest provided data for model evaluation. Our objectives were to gain insights about this forest’s biogeochemical cycles and effects of tree species within this functional group, in comparison with climate change. Materials and Methods: We calibrated Century, using long-term meteorological, soil, and plant data from the field-based experiment. In modeling experiments, we evaluated effects on forest biogeochemistry of eight plant traits that were both observed and modeled. Climate-change simulation experiments represented two climate-change aspects observed in this region. Results: Model calibration revealed that unmodeled soil processes would be required to sustain observed P budgets. In species-traits experiments, three separate plant traits (leaf death rate, leaf C:N, and allocation to fine roots) resulted in modeled biomass C stock changes of >50%, compared with a maximum 21% change in the climate-change experiments. Conclusions: Modeled ecosystem properties and processes in Century were sensitive to changes in plant traits and nutrient limitations to productivity. Realistic model output was attainable for some species, but unusual plant traits thwarted predictions for one species. Including more plant traits and soil processes could increase realism, but less-complex models provide an accessible means for exploring plant-soil-atmosphere interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open AccessArticle
The Assessment of Two Species of Soapberry as Resources for High-Quality Biodiesel Production with an Optimized Method of Ultrasound-Assisted Oil Extraction
Forests 2020, 11(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020212 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Biodiesel has many advantages, yet its high price has become the main obstacle to market acceptance. Selecting non-edible woody oil plant resources and optimizing the oil extraction process will contribute to the effective utilization of raw materials and development of the related biodiesel [...] Read more.
Biodiesel has many advantages, yet its high price has become the main obstacle to market acceptance. Selecting non-edible woody oil plant resources and optimizing the oil extraction process will contribute to the effective utilization of raw materials and development of the related biodiesel industry. This study presents a detailed evaluation of two Sapindus species (Sapindus delavayi (Franch.) Radlk. and Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.) as promising feedstocks for biodiesel production. As ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) is considered a green and efficient oil extraction method, the process was optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) using a Box–Behnken design (BBD) in our study. The kernel oil yield of S. delavayi was up to 43.67% ± 0.16% under the optimized extraction conditions (the ultrasonic power was 109W, extracting at 65 °C for 25 min, and the liquid–solid ratio was 9 mL·g−1). The kernel oil yield of S. mukorossi was as high as 45.96% ± 0.21% under the optimized extraction conditions (the ultrasonic power was 114W, extracting at 68 °C for 26 min, and the liquid–solid ratio was 9 mL·g−1). The fatty acid profiles of S. delavayi and S. mukorossi kernel oils showed a high percentage of monounsaturated fatty acids (74.91% and 76.32%, respectively) and a low percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (11.11% and 7.83%, respectively) and saturated fatty acids (13.98% and 15.85%, respectively). Most of the properties of the two biodiesels conformed to EN 14214:2014, ASTM D6751–2018 and GB 25199–2017 standards, except for oxidation stability. In general, the results provided the optimized extraction method using ultrasound for the two species oil extraction and proved that the two kernel oils are potentially useful feedstocks for high-quality and low-cost biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessCommunication
Effect of Different Soil Treatments with Hydrogel on the Performance of Drought-Sensitive and Tolerant Tree Species in a Semi-Arid Region
Forests 2020, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020211 - 13 Feb 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Research Highlights: Although a number of forestry studies have found that hydrogel improves tree performance, studies that are located in semi-arid regions and that include a broad spectrum of tree species and the assessment of multiple physiological traits are lacking. Background and Objectives: [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Although a number of forestry studies have found that hydrogel improves tree performance, studies that are located in semi-arid regions and that include a broad spectrum of tree species and the assessment of multiple physiological traits are lacking. Background and Objectives: The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effects of hydrogel treatments (with sawdust, organic fertilizer, compost, wheat straw, subsoil, or subsoil with a cobble cover) applied during planting on the survival, growth, and physiological traits of 20 tree species. Materials and Methods: In a field experiment (factorial design with seven treatments including a control, 20 species, and ten replicates) in a semi-arid part of Iran, we applied water alone (control) or water with hydrogel and other materials to recently planted samplings. We evaluated tree height, health, osmotic potential, and biochemical properties after 6 months and survival after 12 months. Results: Hydrogel treatment (regardless of other material) significantly improved the performance of drought-sensitive but not of drought-tolerant species. Conclusions: The benefits of hydrogel treatment are substantial for drought-sensitive species but are insignificant for drought-resistant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Responses to Drought)
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Stock and Sequestration Potential of an Agroforestry System in Sabah, Malaysia
Forests 2020, 11(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020210 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 155
Abstract
Total aboveground carbon (TAC) and total soil carbon stock in the agroforestry system at the Balung River Plantation, Sabah, Malaysia were investigated to scientifically support the sustaining of natural forest for mitigating global warming via reducing carbon in the atmosphere. Agroforestry, monoculture, and [...] Read more.
Total aboveground carbon (TAC) and total soil carbon stock in the agroforestry system at the Balung River Plantation, Sabah, Malaysia were investigated to scientifically support the sustaining of natural forest for mitigating global warming via reducing carbon in the atmosphere. Agroforestry, monoculture, and natural tropical forests were investigated to calculate the carbon stock and sequestration based on three different combinations of oil palm and agarwood in agroforestry systems from 2014 to 2018. These combinations were oil palm (27 years) and agarwood (seven years), oil palm (20 years) and agarwood (seven years), and oil palm (17 years) and agarwood (five years). Monoculture oil palm (16 years), oil palm (six years), and natural tropical forest were set as the control. Three randomly selected plots for agroforestry and monoculture plantation were 0.25 ha (50 × 50 m), respectively, whereas for the natural tropical forest it was 0.09 ha (30 × 30 m). A nondestructive sampling method followed by the allometric equation determined the standing biomass. Organic and shrub layers collected in a square frame (1 × 1 m) were analyzed using the CHN628 series (LECO Corp., MI, USA) for carbon content. Soil bulk density of randomly selected points within the three different layers, that is, 0 to 5, 5 to 10, and 10 to 30 cm were used to determine the total ecosystem carbon (TEC) stock in each agroforestry system which was 79.13, 85.40, and 78.28 Mg C ha−1, respectively. The TEC in the monoculture oil palm was 76.44 and 60.30 Mg C ha−1, whereas natural tropical forest had the highest TEC of 287.29 Mg C ha−1. The forest stand had the highest TEC capacity as compared with the agroforestry and monoculture systems. The impact of planting systems on the TEC showed a statistically significant difference at a 95% confidence interval for the various carbon pools among the agroforestry, monoculture, and natural tropical forests. Therefore, the forest must be sustained because of its higher capacity to store carbon in mitigating global warming. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Spatially Explicit Analysis of Trade-Offs and Synergies among Multiple Ecosystem Services in Shaanxi Valley Basins
Forests 2020, 11(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020209 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 103
Abstract
Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of trade-offs and synergies among multiple ecosystem services (ESs) is the basis of sustainable ecosystem management. The ecological environment of valley basins is very fragile, while bearing the enormous pressure of economic development and population growth, which has damaged [...] Read more.
Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of trade-offs and synergies among multiple ecosystem services (ESs) is the basis of sustainable ecosystem management. The ecological environment of valley basins is very fragile, while bearing the enormous pressure of economic development and population growth, which has damaged the balance of the ecosystem structure and ecosystem services. In this study, we selected two typical valley basins—Guanzhong Basin and Hanzhong Basin—as study areas. The spatial heterogeneity of trade-offs and synergies among multiple ESs (net primary production (NPP), habitat quality (HQ), soil conservation (SC), water conservation (WC), and food supply (FS)) were quantified using the correlation analysis and spatial overlay based on the gird scale to quantitatively analyze and compare the interaction among ESs in two basins. Our results found that: (1) Trade-offs between FS and other four services NPP, HQ, SC, and WC were discovered in two basins, and there were synergistic relationships between NPP, HQ, SC, and WC. (2) From 2000 to 2018, the conflicted relationships between paired ESs gradually increased, and the synergistic relationship became weaker. Furthermore, the rate of change in Guanzhong Basin was stronger than that in Hanzhong Basin. (3) The spatial synergies and trade-offs between NPP and HQ, WC and NPP, FS and HQ, SC and FS were widespread in two basins. The strong trade-offs between pair ESs were widly distributed in the central and southwest of Guanzhong Basin and the southeast of Hanzhong Basin. (4) Multiple ecosystem service interactions were concentrated in the north of Qinling Mountain, the central of Guanzhong Basins, and the east of Hanzhong Basin. Our research highlights the importance of taking spatial perspective and accounting for multiple ecosystem service interactions, and provide a reliable basis for achieving ecological sustainable development of the valley basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological Mechanisms of Foliage Recovery After Spring or Fall Crown Scorch in Young Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Mill.)
Forests 2020, 11(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020208 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 124
Abstract
We hypothesized that physiological and morphological responses to prescribed fire support the post-scorch foliage recovery and growth of young longleaf pine. Two studies conducted in central Louisiana identified three means of foliage regrowth after fire that included an increase in the gas exchange [...] Read more.
We hypothesized that physiological and morphological responses to prescribed fire support the post-scorch foliage recovery and growth of young longleaf pine. Two studies conducted in central Louisiana identified three means of foliage regrowth after fire that included an increase in the gas exchange rate of surviving foliage for 3 to 4 months after fire. Saplings also exhibited crown developmental responses to repeated fire that reduced the risk of future crown scorch. Starch reserves were a source of carbon for post-scorch foliage regrowth when fire was applied in the early growing season. However, the annual dynamics of starch accumulation and mobilization restricted its effectiveness for foliage regrowth when fire was applied late in the growing season. As such, post-scorch foliage regrowth became increasingly dependent on photosynthesis as the growing season progressed. Additionally, the loss of foliage by fire late in the growing season interrupted annual starch dynamics and created a starch void between the time of late growing season fire and mid-summer of the next year. The occurrence of drought during both studies revealed barriers to foliage reestablishment and normal stem growth among large saplings. In study 1, spring water deficit at the time of May fire was associated with high crown scorch and poor foliage and stem growth among large saplings. We attribute this lag in stem growth to three factors: little surviving foliage mass, low fascicle gas exchange rates, and poor post-scorch foliage recovery. In study 2, May fire during a short window of favorable burning conditions in the tenth month of a 20-month drought also reduced stem growth among large saplings but this growth loss was not due to poor post-scorch foliage recovery. Application of this information to prescribed fire guidelines will benefit young longleaf pine responses to fire and advance efforts to restore longleaf pine ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Longleaf Pine)
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Open AccessArticle
The Chloroplast Genome of Carya illinoinensis: Genome Structure, Adaptive Evolution, and Phylogenetic Analysis
Forests 2020, 11(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020207 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 122
Abstract
Research Highlights: For the first time, the complete chloroplast (cp) genome of Carya illinoinensis cv. ‘Pawnee’ was de novo assembled. Comprehensive analysis the cp genome of C. illinoinensis revealed potential cpDNA markers for intraspecies identification, genes involved in adaptation, and its phylogenetic position. [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: For the first time, the complete chloroplast (cp) genome of Carya illinoinensis cv. ‘Pawnee’ was de novo assembled. Comprehensive analysis the cp genome of C. illinoinensis revealed potential cpDNA markers for intraspecies identification, genes involved in adaptation, and its phylogenetic position. Background and Objectives: C. illinoinensis is an economically important nut tree in the family Juglandaceae. Cp-derived markers are helpful for genetic research, but they still need to be developed in C. illinoinensis. Additionally, the adaptation and phylogenetic relationships of C. illinoinensis have not been revealed based on the complete cp genome. Materials and Methods: Chloroplast genomic DNA of C. illinoinensis cv. ‘Pawnee’ was extracted and subjected to Illumina sequencing. Results: The cp genome is 160,819 bp in size, exhibiting a typical quadripartite structure with a large single copy (LSC) of 90,022 bp, a small single copy (SSC) of 18,791 bp, and a pair of inverted repeats (IRA and IRB) regions of 26,003 bp each. The genome was predicted to encode 112 unique genes, including 79 protein-coding genes, 29 tRNAs, and four rRNAs, with 19 duplicates in the IR regions. In total, 213 SSRs and 44 long repeats were identified in the cp genome. A comparison of two different C. illinoinensis genotypes, ‘Pawnee’ and 87MX3-2.11, obtained 143 SNPs and 74 indels. The highly variable regions such as atpF, clpP, and ndhA genes, and matK-rps16, trnS-trnG, and trnT-psbD intergenic spacers might be helpful for future intraspecific identification. Positive selection was acting on the ccsA and rps12 cp genes based on the Ka/Ks ratios. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that C. illinoinensis forms a sister clade to Asian Carya species, represented by C. kweichowensis and Annamocarya sinensis. Conclusions: The genome information in our study will have significance for further research on the intraspecies identification and genetic improvement of C. illinoinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement)
Open AccessArticle
Assessing Environmental Control of Sap Flux of Three Tree Species Plantations in Degraded Hilly Lands in South China
Forests 2020, 11(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020206 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 110
Abstract
Prerequisite for selection of appropriate tree species in afforestation programs is to understand their water use strategy. Acacia mangium Willd., Schima wallichii Choisy, and Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook are the three main vegetation restoration pioneer species in southern China, but no comparative research [...] Read more.
Prerequisite for selection of appropriate tree species in afforestation programs is to understand their water use strategy. Acacia mangium Willd., Schima wallichii Choisy, and Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook are the three main vegetation restoration pioneer species in southern China, but no comparative research on the water use strategy of these three tree species have been reported. Our objective was to gain a detailed understanding of how photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and soil water content (SWC) at different soil depths control the sap flux density (Js) in the dry and wet seasons. We measured the Js of these three tree species by using the thermal dissipation method in low subtropical China. We found that both S. wallichii and C. lanceolata differed clearly in their stomatal behavior from one season to another, while A. mangium did not. The canopy conductance per sapwood area of S. wallichii and C. lanceolata was very sensitive to VPD in the dry season, but not in the wet season. The Js of A. mangium was negatively correlated to SWC in all soil layers and during both seasons, while the other two species were not sensitive to SWC in the deeper layers and only positively correlated to SWC in dry season. Our results demonstrate that the three species have distinct water use strategies and may therefore respond differently to changing climate. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Timber Trade: A Study on Discrepancies in Chinese Logs and Lumber Trade Statistics
Forests 2020, 11(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020205 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Discrepancies in trade statistics can be normal or benign and attributed to a wide variety of unintentional factors, or in some instances within the timber products sector, such discrepancies can be associated with “systemic” factors that distort trade statistics, including (i) measurement and [...] Read more.
Discrepancies in trade statistics can be normal or benign and attributed to a wide variety of unintentional factors, or in some instances within the timber products sector, such discrepancies can be associated with “systemic” factors that distort trade statistics, including (i) measurement and shipment issues, (ii) misreporting of product volumes, (iii) misclassification of timber product types, and (iv) government regulations concerned about trade. This study measured trade discrepancies in logs and lumber trade statistics for China and its trading partner countries from 2002 to 2018 using a time-lagged function, based on the customs data available from Global Trade Information Services (GTIS), with the aim of exploring a more nuanced understanding of trade discrepancies and their “systemic” factors. The results showed that the range of overall discrepancies in logs and lumber trade statistics shrunk over time, from [−0.069, 1.207] in 2002–2007 to [−0.120, 0.408] in 2013–2018. The larger trade flows of logs and lumber from Russia, New Zealand, and the U.S. (each above 10% of total China’s import) showed small trade statistics discrepancy ratios, which were less than ± 0.06. However, trade discrepancies still remained large at the disaggregated level, and significant differences of trade discrepancies between tropical and non-tropical countries. The range of trade discrepancies in hardwood logs increased from 2002 to 2018 and appeared to be attributed to misclassification and misreporting in tropical countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Ghana. However, these countries’ trade flows are becoming relatively minor over time. Government policies are suggested to play an important role in influencing both the occurrence and resolution of trade discrepancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptomic Response of Two Pinus Species to Infection with the Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus
Forests 2020, 11(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020204 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 148
Abstract
Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is a serious threat to global forest populations of conifers, in particular Pinus spp. Recently, the presence of PWN was reported in dead Yunnan pine (Pinus yunnanensis) [...] Read more.
Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is a serious threat to global forest populations of conifers, in particular Pinus spp. Recently, the presence of PWN was reported in dead Yunnan pine (Pinus yunnanensis) trees under natural conditions. To further understand the potential impact caused by PWN in Yunnan pine populations, a transcriptional profiling analysis was performed over different time points (0 hours (h), 6 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 7 days) after PWN inoculation. A total of 9961 differentially expressed genes were identified after inoculation, which suggested a dynamic response against the pathogen, with a more intense pattern at 48 h after inoculation. The results also highlighted a set of biological mechanisms triggered after inoculation that provide valuable information regarding the response of Yunnan pine to PWN infection. When compared with maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), the Yunnan pine response was less complex and involved a smaller number of differentially expressed genes, which may be associated with the increased degree of resistance to PWN displayed by Yunnan pine. These results revealed different strategies to cope with PWN infection by these two pine species, which display contrasting degrees of susceptibility, especially in the timely perception of the infection and response magnitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Development and Characterization of Simple Sequence Repeat Markers for, and Genetic Diversity Analysis of Liquidambar formosana
Forests 2020, 11(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020203 - 12 Feb 2020
Viewed by 102
Abstract
Liquidambar formosana (Hamamelidaceae) is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree of high ornamental value that is indigenous to China. However, few molecular markers are available for the species or its close relatives; this has hindered genomic and genetic studies. Here, we develop a series [...] Read more.
Liquidambar formosana (Hamamelidaceae) is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree of high ornamental value that is indigenous to China. However, few molecular markers are available for the species or its close relatives; this has hindered genomic and genetic studies. Here, we develop a series of transferable expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) for genomic analysis of L. formosana. We downloaded the sequence of the L. formosana transcriptome from the National Center of Biotechnology Information Database and identified SSR loci in the Unigene library. We found 3284 EST-SSRs by mining 34,491 assembled unigenes. We synthesized 100 random primer pairs for validation of eight L. formosana individuals; of the 100 pairs, 32 were polymorphic. We successfully transferred 12 EST-SSR markers across three related Liquidambar species; the markers exhibited excellent cross-species transferability and will facilitate genetic studies and breeding of Liquidambar. A total of 72 clones of three Liquidambar species were uniquely divided into three main clusters; principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) supported this division. Additionally, a set of 20 SSR markers that did not exhibit nonspecific amplification were used to genotype more than 53 L. formosana trees. The mean number of alleles (Na) was 5.75 and the average polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.578, which was higher than that of the natural L. formosana population (0.390). In other words, the genetic diversity of the plus L. formosana population increased, but excellent phenotypic features were maintained. The primers will be valuable for genomic mapping, germplasm characterization, gene tagging, and further genetic studies. Analyses of genetic diversity in L. formosana will provide a basis for efficient application of genetic materials and rational management of L. formosana breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Tree Biomass Modeling Approaches for Larch (Larix olgensis Henry) Trees in Northeast China
Forests 2020, 11(2), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020202 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 151
Abstract
Accurate quantification of tree biomass is critical and essential for calculating carbon storage, as well as for studying climate change, forest health, forest productivity, nutrient cycling, etc. Tree biomass is typically estimated using statistical models. Although various biomass models have been developed thus [...] Read more.
Accurate quantification of tree biomass is critical and essential for calculating carbon storage, as well as for studying climate change, forest health, forest productivity, nutrient cycling, etc. Tree biomass is typically estimated using statistical models. Although various biomass models have been developed thus far, most of them lack a detailed investigation of the additivity properties of biomass components and inherent correlations among the components and aboveground biomass. This study compared the nonadditive and additive biomass models for larch (Larix olgensis Henry) trees in Northeast China. For the nonadditive models, the base model (BM) and mixed effects model (MEM) separately fit the aboveground and component biomass, and they ignore the inherent correlation between the aboveground and component biomass of the same tree sample. For the additive models, two aggregated model systems with one (AMS1) and no constraints (AMS2) and two disaggregated model systems without (DMS1) and with an aboveground biomass model (DMS2) were fitted simultaneously by weighted nonlinear seemingly unrelated regression (NSUR) and applied to ensure additivity properties. Following this, the six biomass modeling approaches were compared to improve the prediction accuracy of these models. The results showed that the MEM with random effects had better model fitting and performance than the BM, AMS1, AMS2, DMS1, and DMS2; however, when no subsample was available to calculate random effects, AMS1, AMS2, DMS1, and DMS2 could be recommended. There was no single biomass modeling approach to predict biomass that was best for all aboveground and component biomass except for MEM. The overall ranking of models based on the fit and validation statistics obeyed the following order: MEM > DMS1 > AMS2 > AMS1> DMS2 > BM. This article emphasized more on the methodologies and it was expected that the methods could be applied by other researchers to develop similar systems of the biomass models for other species, and to verify the differences between the aggregated and disaggregated model systems. Overall, all biomass models in this study have the benefit of being able to predict aboveground and component biomass for larch trees and to be used to predict biomass of larch plantations in Northeast China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Heat Treatment and Tannin Impregnation on Boron Depletion and Wood Durability
Forests 2020, 11(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020201 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 179
Abstract
Heat treatment (HT) of a mixture of tannins and inorganic boron compounds showed effective results against wood decay organisms. Boron compounds play a critical role in the preservation of wood against wood decay organisms. The use of tannins and HT represents a relatively [...] Read more.
Heat treatment (HT) of a mixture of tannins and inorganic boron compounds showed effective results against wood decay organisms. Boron compounds play a critical role in the preservation of wood against wood decay organisms. The use of tannins and HT represents a relatively new environmentally friendly approach to the wood preservation industry. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of tannin impregnation and HT on boron depletion, and termite and fungi resistance. Southern yellow pine (SYP) and yellow-poplar (YP) cube samples were used for this study. A mixture of condensed tannins from the Quebracho tree and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) was injected into the specimens using a vacuum/pressure cycle, and the specimens were then heat-treated under N2 atmosphere for four hours at 190 °C to investigate both the tannin’s fixative ability to reduce boron leaching and the performance of the mixture against brown and white-rot fungi and termites. Tannins restricted boron leaching in 46% and 34% for SYP and YP, respectively, and also significantly increased the resistance against white-rot fungi for YP. Tannins and HT showed unpredictably good performance against termites. Tannins may be acting to denature proteins; in that case, fungal enzymes would be inhibited. This study revealed the importance of HT on a mixture of boron and tannins to decrease boron leaching and increase the durability of preservative systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Asymmetric Price Transmission of Hardwood Lumber Imported by China after Imposition of the Comprehensive Commercial Logging Ban in All Natural Forests
Forests 2020, 11(2), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020200 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 133
Abstract
The Comprehensive Commercial Logging Ban in All Natural Forests (CCLB) policy, introduced in April 2015, aims to protect all natural forests in China. It has impacted both China’s domestic timber supply and imports. We investigated price transmission in China’s hardwood lumber imports resulting [...] Read more.
The Comprehensive Commercial Logging Ban in All Natural Forests (CCLB) policy, introduced in April 2015, aims to protect all natural forests in China. It has impacted both China’s domestic timber supply and imports. We investigated price transmission in China’s hardwood lumber imports resulting from the implementation of this policy. We selected three hardwood lumber species, i.e., Sapelli (Entandrophragma), Mandshurica (Fraxinus), and Laurel (Terminalia), and used their daily prices from 30 April 2015 to 30 November 2017. Threshold co-integration and threshold error correction models are employed for this analysis. We identified a structural breakpoint on 30 November 2016, and consequently partitioned the data series into two parts for the two subperiods separated by the breakpoint. The empirical results indicated that there was asymmetric price transmission (APT) for both subperiods. Adjustment of positive price deviations to the long-term equilibrium levels was slower than that of negative price deviations. In the short term, the price of high-quality lumber evolved independently, whereas the price of lower-quality lumber tended to return to the equilibrium. The APT reflects a redistribution of welfare, benefiting the exporters more than the importers. We find that positive discrepancies in each price pair were inclined to be more persistent in the first subperiod than in the second subperiod. This could attribute to the fact that the degree of CCLB intervention in the former one was higher than in the latter one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Open AccessArticle
Pests in the City: Managing Public Health Risks and Social Values in Response to Oak Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) in the United Kingdom
Forests 2020, 11(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020199 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 129
Abstract
Oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) or OPM was accidentally introduced into London on imported oak trees and now poses a threat to the future of oak in the urban landscape. Early attempts at eradication of the moth failed and significant resources [...] Read more.
Oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) or OPM was accidentally introduced into London on imported oak trees and now poses a threat to the future of oak in the urban landscape. Early attempts at eradication of the moth failed and significant resources have since been spent by government on monitoring and controlling OPM (through the use of insecticides or bio-pesticides) as it spreads into new areas. OPM is regulated in the UK to minimize risk of new introductions and reduce spread. Surveying for OPM and issuing of statutory notices for control is based on a geographical system of core, control and protected zones. While OPM will defoliate the trees leaving them vulnerable to other pests and diseases and stress factors, the caterpillars can also harm people and animals via tiny urticating hairs with the potential for dermatological or respiratory impacts. However, the biggest threat to the iconic British oak may be that the perceived risks associated with OPM, and costs of management may lead land managers to fell their oak trees, and not plant oak in the future. There is a need to better understand awareness, risk perceptions and decision-making around OPM management. We use a conceptual framework to explore decision-making and the trade-offs between the social, economic and ecological values associated with oak trees, and assessment of risk related to both the moth and control options. Twenty nine interviews were conducted in two London boroughs and across Greater London and in some surrounding counties covering a range of land types (e.g., parks, school grounds, amenity areas and private gardens) with infested or non-infested oak. We found a lack of evidence of human health impacts from OPM although land managers were concerned about public duty of care and potential reputational damage if they do not manage OPM. To address the challenges of dealing with OPM, land managers were taking a risk-based approach and managing OPM where it posed the highest potential risk to people. Respondents expressed strong emotional attachments to oak but it also has high biodiversity value which can lead to difficult decisions about management options. A risk-based approach moves beyond a ‘one-size-fits-all’ control method and focuses available resources where they are most needed and socially acceptable. An approach that allows for multiple values and perspectives on risk may provide a more sustainable long-term option for OPM management to ensure the future of oak in the city. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Automatic Delineation of Forest Patches in Highly Fragmented Landscapes Using Coloured Point Clouds
Forests 2020, 11(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020198 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 166
Abstract
Accurate mapping of landscape features is key for natural resources management and planning. For this purpose, the use of high-resolution remote sensing data has become widespread and is increasingly freely available. However, mapping some target features, such as small forest patches, is still [...] Read more.
Accurate mapping of landscape features is key for natural resources management and planning. For this purpose, the use of high-resolution remote sensing data has become widespread and is increasingly freely available. However, mapping some target features, such as small forest patches, is still a challenge. Standard, easily replicable, and automatic methodologies to delineate such features are still missing. A common alternative to automated methods is manual delineation, but this is often too time and resource intensive. We developed a simple and automatic method from freely available aerial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and aerial ortho-images that provide accurate land use mapping and overcome some of the aforementioned limitations. The input for the algorithm is a coloured point cloud, where multispectral information from the ortho-images is associated to each LiDAR point. From this, four-class segmentation and mapping were performed based on vegetation indices and the ground-elevation of the points. We tested the method in four areas in the north-western Iberian Peninsula and compared the results with existent cartography. The completeness and correctness of our algorithm ranging between 78% and 99% in most cases, and it allows for the delineation of very small patches that were previously underrepresented in the reference cartography. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Toward Decision-Making Support: Valuation and Mapping of New Management Scenarios for Tunisian Cork Oak Forests
Forests 2020, 11(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020197 - 11 Feb 2020
Viewed by 112
Abstract
Forest ecosystems are an important anthropogenic pillar to human wellbeing, providing a multitude of ecosystem services. In Mediterranean countries, where climate change effects are exponentially increasing, the value of the forest ecosystem services is even higher and their preservation is more crucial. However, [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystems are an important anthropogenic pillar to human wellbeing, providing a multitude of ecosystem services. In Mediterranean countries, where climate change effects are exponentially increasing, the value of the forest ecosystem services is even higher and their preservation is more crucial. However, the biophysical and economic value of such services is usually not observable due to their non-marketable characteristics, leading to their underestimation by decision-makers. This paper aims to guide decision-making through a set of new management scenarios based on ecosystem services’ values and their spatial distribution. It is a cumulative multidisciplinary study based on biophysical models results, economically valued and implemented using the geographic information system (GIS) to analyze spatial data. The investigation was based on a biophysical and economic valuation of cork, grazing, carbon sequestration and sediment retention as a selection of ecosystem services provided by cork oak forest (Ain Snoussi, Tunisia). The valuation was made for the actual situation and two management scenarios (density decrease and afforestation of the shrub land), with emphasis on their spatial distribution as a basis to new management. The total economic value (TEV) of the investigated services provided by Ain Snoussi forest (3787ha) was €0.55 million/year corresponding to €194/ha/year. The assessment of two different scenarios based on the land cover changes showed that the afforestation scenario provided the highest TEV with €0.68 million/year and an average of €217/ha, while the density decrease scenario provided €0.54 million/year and an average of €191/ha. Such results may orient decision-makers about the impact new management may have, however they should be applied with caution and wariness due to the importance of the spatial dimension in this study. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Identification of Grafting-Responsive MicroRNAs Associated with Growth Regulation in Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch]
Forests 2020, 11(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020196 - 10 Feb 2020
Viewed by 190
Abstract
Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] is an economically important nut tree and grafting is often used for clonal propagation of cultivars. However, there is a lack of research on the effects of rootstocks on scions, which are meaningful targets for directed [...] Read more.
Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] is an economically important nut tree and grafting is often used for clonal propagation of cultivars. However, there is a lack of research on the effects of rootstocks on scions, which are meaningful targets for directed breeding of pecan grafts. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in many biological processes, but the mechanism underlying the involvement of miRNAs in grafting-conferred physiological changes is unclear. To identify the grafting-responsive miRNAs that may be involved in the regulation of growth in grafted pecan, six small RNA libraries were constructed from the phloem of two groups of grafts with significantly different growth performance on short and tall rootstocks. A total of 441 conserved miRNAs belonging to 42 miRNA families and 603 novel miRNAs were identified. Among the identified miRNAs, 24 (seven conserved and 17 novel) were significantly differentially expressed by the different grafts, implying that they might be responsive to grafting and potentially involved in the regulation of graft growth. Ninety-five target genes were predicted for the differentially expressed miRNAs; gene annotation was available for 33 of these. Analysis of their targets suggested that the miRNAs may regulate auxin transport, cell activity, and inorganic phosphate (Pi) acquisition, and thereby, mediate pecan graft growth. Use of the recently-published pecan genome enabled identification of a substantial population of miRNAs, which are now available for further research. We also identified the grafting-responsive miRNAs and their potential roles in pecan graft growth, providing a basis for research on long-distance regulation in grafted pecan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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