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Forests, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 108 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The introduction of a pathogen into a novel environment can strongly threaten the new host [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction of Biochar Type and Rhizobia Inoculation Increases the Growth and Biological Nitrogen Fixation of Robinia pseudoacacia Seedlings
Forests 2020, 11(6), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060711 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Adding biochar to soil can change soil properties and subsequently affect plant growth, but this effect can vary because of different feedstocks and methods (e.g., pyrolysis or gasification) used to create the biochar. Growth and biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) of leguminous plants can [...] Read more.
Adding biochar to soil can change soil properties and subsequently affect plant growth, but this effect can vary because of different feedstocks and methods (e.g., pyrolysis or gasification) used to create the biochar. Growth and biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) of leguminous plants can be improved with rhizobia inoculation that fosters nodule development. Thus, this factorial greenhouse study examined the effects of two types of biochar (i.e., pyrolysis and gasification) added at a rate of 5% (v:v) to a peat-based growth substrate and rhizobia inoculation (yes or no) on Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) seedlings supplied with 15NH415NO3. Seedling and nodule growth, nitrogen (N) content, and δ15N × 1000 were evaluated after 3 months. While addition of biochar without inoculation had no effect on seedling growth, inoculation with rhizobia increased seedling growth, BNF, and N status. Inoculated seedlings had reduced δ15N, indicating that N provided via fertilization was being diluted by N additions through BNF. Biochar type and inoculation interacted to affect seedling growth. Combining inoculation with either biochar type increased seedling leaf, stem, and total biomass, whereas gasifier biochar and inoculation improved all seedling growth variables and nodule biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Scientific Basis of the Target Plant Concept)
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Open AccessArticle
Altitude and Vegetation Affect Soil Organic Carbon, Basal Respiration and Microbial Biomass in Apennine Forest Soils
Forests 2020, 11(6), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060710 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Both altitude and vegetation are known to affect the amount and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) and the size and activity of soil microbial biomass. However, when altitude and vegetation changes are combined, it is still unclear which one has a greater [...] Read more.
Both altitude and vegetation are known to affect the amount and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) and the size and activity of soil microbial biomass. However, when altitude and vegetation changes are combined, it is still unclear which one has a greater effect on soil chemical and biochemical properties. With the aim of clarifying this, we tested the effect of altitude (and hence temperature) and vegetation (broadleaf vs pine forests) on soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil microbial biomass and its activity. Soil sampling was carried out in two adjacent toposequences ranging from 500 to 1000 m a.s.l. on a calcareous massif in central Italy: one covered only by Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold forests, while the other covered by Quercus pubescens Willd., Ostrya carpinifolia Scop. and Fagus sylvatica L. forests, at 500, 700 and 1000 m a.s.l., respectively. The content of SOC and water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) increased with altitude for the pine forests, while for the broadleaf forests no trend along the slope occurred, and the highest SOC and WEOC contents were observed in the soil at 700 m under the Ostrya carpinifolia forest. With regard to the soil microbial community, although the size of the soil microbial biomass (Cmic) generally followed the SOC contents along the slope, both broadleaf and pine forest soils showed similar diminishing trends with altitude of soil respiration (ΣCO2-C), and ΣCO2-C:WEOC and ΣCO2-C:Cmic ratios. The results pointed out that, although under the pine forests’ altitude was effective in affecting WEOC and SOC contents, in the soils along the broadleaf forest toposequence this effect was absent, indicating a greater impact of vegetation than temperature on SOC amount and pool distribution. Conversely, the similar trend with altitude of the microbial activity indexes would indicate temperature to be crucial for the activity of the soil microbial community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Carbon Pools and Storage in Forest Soil)
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Open AccessArticle
Nutrient Status of Tree Seedlings in a Site Recovering from a Landslide
Forests 2020, 11(6), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060709 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of soil recovery after a landslide on the nutritional status of a young generation of Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) trees. The study was carried [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of soil recovery after a landslide on the nutritional status of a young generation of Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) trees. The study was carried out on the site of a landslide that took place in 2010 in the Gorlice Forest District (Southern Poland). Basic soil properties, macro, and microelements content and enzymatic activity were determined in the soil samples that were collected from across the landslide area, from locations distributed by a grid 10 × 10 m (18 points). Plant material samples, collected to indicate nutritional status, were also taken from each point. Results demonstrate that the nutritional status of emerging regeneration depends on soil acidification and soil organic matter content. The pH of the soils on the landslide determines the intensity of nutrient uptake by the young seedlings. The nutrition of young trees varied across the landslide zone, differing in terms of the soil’s organic matter content and its chemical properties. In comparison to the depletion zone, the accumulation zone proved to be substantially richer in soil organic matter, resulting in higher soil biochemical activity. The study demonstrates that Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) is improving nutrient cycling in areas disturbed by landslide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forest Protection Unifies, Silviculture Divides: A Sociological Analysis of Local Stakeholders’ Voices after Coppicing in the Marganai Forest (Sardinia, Italy)
Forests 2020, 11(6), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060708 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Today, a forest is also understood as a real social actor with multiple-scale influences, capable of significantly conditioning the social, economic, and cultural system of a whole territory. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and interpret the population’s perception of the [...] Read more.
Today, a forest is also understood as a real social actor with multiple-scale influences, capable of significantly conditioning the social, economic, and cultural system of a whole territory. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and interpret the population’s perception of the silvicultural activities related to traditional use of forest resources of the southwestern Sardinian Marganai State Forest. The “Marganai case” has brought to the attention of the mass media the role of this forest and its silviculture. The research was carried out via semi-structured interviews with the main stakeholders in the area. The qualitative approach in the collection and analysis of the information gathered has allowed us to reconstruct the historical-cultural and social cohesion function that the forest plays in rural communities. The results highlight that the main risks concern the erosion of the cultural forest heritage due to the abandonment of the rural dimension (mainly by the new generations, but not only), with the consequent spread of deep distortions in the perception, interpretation, and necessity of forestry activities and policy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Responses and Differences in Tolerance to Water Shortage under Climatic Dryness Conditions in Seedlings from Quercus spp. and Andalusian Q. ilex Populations
Forests 2020, 11(6), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060707 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Analyzing differences in tolerance to drought in Quercus spp., and the characterization of these responses at the species and individual population level, are imperative for the selection of resilient elite genotypes in reforestation programs. The main objective of this work was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Analyzing differences in tolerance to drought in Quercus spp., and the characterization of these responses at the species and individual population level, are imperative for the selection of resilient elite genotypes in reforestation programs. The main objective of this work was to evaluate differences in the response and tolerance to water shortage under in five Quercus spp. and five Andalusian Q. ilex populations at the inter- and intraspecies level. Six-month-old seedlings grown in perlite were subjected to drought treatments by withholding water for 28 days under mean 37 °C temperature, 28 W m−2 solar irradiance, and 41% humidity. The use of perlite as the substrate enabled the establishment of severe drought stress with reduction in water availability from 73% (field capacity) to 28% (dryness), corresponding to matric potentials of 0 and −30 kPa. Damage symptoms, mortality rate, leaf water content, photosynthetic, and biochemical parameters (amino acids, sugars, phenolics, and pigments) were determined. At the phenotypic level, based on damage symptoms and mortality, Q. ilex behaved as the most drought tolerant species. Drought caused a significant decrease in leaf fluorescence, photosynthesis rate, and stomatal conductance in all Quercus spp. analyzed, being less pronounced in Q. ilex. There were not differences between irrigated and non-irrigated Q. ilex seedlings in the content of sugar and photosynthetic pigments, while the total amino acid and phenolic content significantly increased under drought conditions. As a response to drought, living Q. ilex seedlings adjust stomata opening and gas exchange, and keep hydrated, photosynthetically active, and metabolically competent. At the population level, based on damage symptoms, mortality, and physiological parameters, the eastern Andalusian populations were more tolerant than the western ones. These observations inform the basis for the selection of resilient genotypes to be used in breeding and reforestation programs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Co-Creating Conceptual and Working Frameworks for Implementing Forest and Landscape Restoration Based on Core Principles
Forests 2020, 11(6), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060706 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 822
Abstract
Existing guidelines and best-practices documents do not satisfy, at present, the need for guiding implementation of Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) based on core principles. Given the wide range of FLR practices and the varied spectrum of actors involved, a single working framework [...] Read more.
Existing guidelines and best-practices documents do not satisfy, at present, the need for guiding implementation of Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) based on core principles. Given the wide range of FLR practices and the varied spectrum of actors involved, a single working framework is unlikely to be effective, but tailored working frameworks can be co-created based on a common conceptual framework (i.e., a common core set of principles and a generalized set of criteria and indicators). We present background regarding FLR concepts, definitions, and principles, and discuss the challenges that confront effective and long-term implementation of FLR. We enumerate the many benefits that a transformative criteria and indicators framework can bring to actors and different sectors involved in restoration when such framework is anchored in the FLR principles. We justify the need to co-develop and apply specifically tailored working frameworks to help ensure that FLR interventions bring social, economic, and environmental benefits to multiple stakeholders within landscapes and adjust to changing conditions over time. Several examples of working FLR frameworks are presented to illustrate the goals and needs of communities, donors and investors, and government agencies. Transparency, feedback, communication, assessment, and adaptive management are important components of all working frameworks. Finally, we describe existing FLR guidelines and what we can learn from them. Working frameworks can be developed and used by different actors who seek to initiate an FLR process and to align restoration actions at different scales and levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Open AccessArticle
Inducing Plant Defense Reactions in Tobacco Plants with Phenolic-Rich Extracts from Red Maple Leaves: A Characterization of Main Active Ingredients
Forests 2020, 11(6), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060705 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Red maple leaf extracts (RME) were tested for their plant defense inducer (PDI) properties. Two extracts were obtained and compared by different approaches: RME1 using ethanol–water (30–70%, v/v, 0.5% HCl 1N) and RME2 using pure water. Both extracts titrated at 1.9 g [...] Read more.
Red maple leaf extracts (RME) were tested for their plant defense inducer (PDI) properties. Two extracts were obtained and compared by different approaches: RME1 using ethanol–water (30–70%, v/v, 0.5% HCl 1N) and RME2 using pure water. Both extracts titrated at 1.9 g L−1 in polyphenols and infiltrated into tobacco leaves efficiently induced hypersensitive reaction-like lesions with topical accumulation of auto-fluorescent compounds noted under UV and scopoletin titration assays. The antimicrobial marker PR1, β−1,3-glucanase PR2, chitinase PR3, and osmotin PR5 target genes were all upregulated in tobacco leaves following RME1 treatment. The alkaline hydrolysis of RME1 and RME2 combined with HPLC titration of gallic acid revealed that gallate functions were present in both extracts at levels comprised between 185 and 318 mg L−1. HPLC-HR-MS analyses and glucose assay identified four gallate derivatives consisting of a glucose core linked to 5, 6, 7, and 8 gallate groups. These four galloyl glucoses possessed around 46% of total gallate functions. Their higher concentration in RME suggested that they may contribute significantly to PDI activity. These findings define the friendly galloyl glucose as a PDI and highlight a relevant methodology for combining plant assays and chemistry process to their potential quantification in crude natural extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Secondary Metabolites from Trees in Bioprotection)
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Open AccessArticle
Sage Species Case Study on a Spontaneous Mediterranean Plant to Control Phytopathogenic Fungi and Bacteria
Forests 2020, 11(6), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060704 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Sage species belong to the family of Labiatae/Lamiaceae and are diffused worldwide. More than 900 species of sage have been identified, and many of them are used for different purposes, i.e., culinary uses, traditional medicines and natural remedies and cosmetic applications. [...] Read more.
Sage species belong to the family of Labiatae/Lamiaceae and are diffused worldwide. More than 900 species of sage have been identified, and many of them are used for different purposes, i.e., culinary uses, traditional medicines and natural remedies and cosmetic applications. Another use of sage is the application of non-distilled sage extracts and essential oils to control phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi, for a sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture. Biocidal propriety of non-distilled extracts and essential oils of sage are w documented. Antimicrobial effects of these sage extracts/essential oils depend on both sage species and bacteria and fungi species to control. In general, it is possible to choose some specific extracts/essential oils to control specific phytopathogenic bacteria or fungi. In this context, the use of nanotechnology techniques applied to essential oil from salvia could represent a future direction for improving the performance of eco-compatible and sustainable plant defence and represents a great challenge for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest, Foods and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Study of Shear-Cutting Mechanisms on Wood Veneer
Forests 2020, 11(6), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060703 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Multi-material structures made from renewable materials are increasingly being addressed in research and industry. Especially lightweight applications based on wood and polymer materials offer an important opportunity to reduce weight and CO2 emissions, and thus create a sustainable economy. When establishing new [...] Read more.
Multi-material structures made from renewable materials are increasingly being addressed in research and industry. Especially lightweight applications based on wood and polymer materials offer an important opportunity to reduce weight and CO2 emissions, and thus create a sustainable economy. When establishing new material combinations, it is necessary to take economical and efficient manufacturing processes into count to enable the market entry. Therefore, the existing manufacturing processes needed to be adapted and improved in terms of the specific machining characteristic of the wood material. This study targets a combined process where a forming and shear-cutting process is also integrated in an injection-molding tool. The findings on the shear-cutting process of wood veneers are not widely investigated yet. Therefore, process and material-related dependences like cutting velocity, tool shape design, and preconditioning of wood veneers were examined. The target values cutting force and cutting-edge quality were used to describe the relations. The results showed specific damage and fiber fractions of the wood material compared to the isotropic materials (e.g., metal). In addition, low cutting forces appeared by realizing a drawing cut and high cutting speeds. A decrease in the cutting force with a higher moisture content could not be shown for the used wood types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pollen Production of Quercus in the North-Western Iberian Peninsula and Airborne Pollen Concentration Trends during the Last 27 Years
Forests 2020, 11(6), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060702 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 236
Abstract
Natural forests are considered a reservoir of great biological diversity constituting one of the most important ecosystems in Europe. Quercus study is essential to assess ecological conservation of forests, and also of economic importance for different industries. In addition, oak pollen can cause [...] Read more.
Natural forests are considered a reservoir of great biological diversity constituting one of the most important ecosystems in Europe. Quercus study is essential to assess ecological conservation of forests, and also of economic importance for different industries. In addition, oak pollen can cause high sensitization rates of respiratory allergies in pollen-allergy sufferers. This study sought to know the pollen production of six oak species in the transitional area between the Eurosiberian and Mediterranean Bioclimatic Regions, and to assess the impact of climate change on airborne oak pollen concentrations. The study was conducted in Ourense (NW Spain) over the 1993–2019 period. A Lanzoni VPPS 2000 volumetric trap monitored airborne pollen. A pollen production study was carried out in ten trees randomly selected in several Quercus forest around the Ourense city. Oak pollen represented around 14% of annual total pollen registered in the atmosphere of Ourense, showing an increasing trend during the last decade. Pollen production of the six studied oak species follow the proportions 1:1:2:5:90:276 for Q. ilex, Q. faginea, Q. rubra, Q. suber, Q. pyrenaica, and Q. robur respectively. We detected a significant trend to the increase of the annual maximum temperature, whereas a decrease of the maximum and mean temperatures during three previous months to oak flowering. This could be related with the detected trend to a delay of the oak Main Pollen Season onset of 0.47 days per year. We also found significant trends to an increase of the annual pollen integral of 7.9% pollen grains per year, and the pollen peak concentration of 7.5% pollen grains per year. Quercus airborne pollen monitoring as well as the knowledge of the reproductive behavior of the main oak species, bring us an important support tool offering a promising bio-indicator to detect ecological variations induced by climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Pollen and Floral Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Analyzing the Biological and Structural Diversity of Hyrcanian Forests Dominated by Taxus baccata L.
Forests 2020, 11(6), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060701 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
The Hyrcanian Forests, well-known for its World Heritage site in the South Caspian region of Northern Iran, are refugia for a special tree flora. Some areas in particular feature a concentration of large and numerous trees of Taxus baccata, a species that [...] Read more.
The Hyrcanian Forests, well-known for its World Heritage site in the South Caspian region of Northern Iran, are refugia for a special tree flora. Some areas in particular feature a concentration of large and numerous trees of Taxus baccata, a species that has attracted the interest of many researchers given its medicinal importance. The objective of this study was to analyze the biological and structural features of these unique ecosystems based on three large tree-mapped field plots using new methods. We developed a species abundance distribution and three species–area relations, and analyzed the small-scale structural patterns of each of the 15 tree species that occur in the plots. Species-specific details are presented for each of the three field plots, including the tree densities and average tree sizes, as well as the associated structural indices “species mingling”, “dominance”, and “size differentiation”. This includes non-linear relationships between tree density and neighborhood mingling, and between the average tree size and neighborhood dominance, and a linear relation between the neighborhood dominance and the mean neighborhood differentiation. Based on the findings, we recommend the use of these methods and indices for analyzing the structure of natural forests in other regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Veneer Densification Temperature and Wood Species on the Plywood Properties Made from Alternate Layers of Densified and Non-Densified Veneers
Forests 2020, 11(6), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060700 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
In this study the properties of plywood manufactured from densified and non-densified veneer sheets and alternate layers of such veneers with and without densification using low amount of adhesive as a function of densification temperature and wood species were investigated. The plywood panels [...] Read more.
In this study the properties of plywood manufactured from densified and non-densified veneer sheets and alternate layers of such veneers with and without densification using low amount of adhesive as a function of densification temperature and wood species were investigated. The plywood panels were made from rotary-cut birch and black alder veneers using urea-formaldehyde (UF) adhesive. Veneer sheets with thickness of 1.5 mm were subjected to the thermal-compression at three different temperatures while keeping constant the pressure during a same time span. Five-layers plywood panels were produced using a constant hot-pressing schedule using different amounts of glue spread as a function of the plywood type; such as plywood made from non-densified (80 g/m2) and densified (60 g/m2) veneers only; and combination of them (70 g/m2). The bending strength (MOR) and the modulus of elasticity (MOE) along with the shear strength of the plywood samples for bonding class 1 (dry conditions) have been determined. As expected bending strength of the plywood samples increased with the increasing in density. The increase of veneer densification temperature resulted in a gradually decrease of MOR; MOE and shear strength values for the plywood panels made of densified veneers and mixed panels of both species. The temperature of 150 °C for veneer densification seemed to be enough to achieve enhanced bending and bonding properties. All plywood panels in this study were manufactured using reduced glue consumption and they presented satisfactory properties performance for indoor applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Landscape Patterns of Rare Vascular Plants in the Lower Athabasca Region of Alberta, Canada
Forests 2020, 11(6), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060699 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Predicting habitat for rare species at landscape scales is a common goal of environmental monitoring, management, and conservation; however, the ability to meet that objective is often limited by the paucity of location records and availability of spatial predictors that effectively describe their [...] Read more.
Predicting habitat for rare species at landscape scales is a common goal of environmental monitoring, management, and conservation; however, the ability to meet that objective is often limited by the paucity of location records and availability of spatial predictors that effectively describe their habitat. To address this challenge, we used an adaptive, model-based iterative sampling design to direct four years of rare plant surveys within 0.25 ha plots across 602 sites in northeast Alberta, Canada. We used these location records to model and map rare plant habitats for the region using a suite of geospatial predictors including airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) vegetation structure metrics, land cover types, soil pH, and a terrain wetness model. Our results indicated that LiDAR-derived vegetation structural metrics and land cover were the most important individual factors, but all variables contributed to predicting the occurrence of rare plants. For LiDAR variables, rarity was negatively related to maximum canopy height, but positively related to canopy relief ratio. Rarity was therefore more likely in places with shorter canopy heights and greater structural complexity. This included fens, which overall had the highest rates of rare plant occurrence. Model-based allocation of sampling led to detections of uncommon species at nearly all sites, while the rarest species in the region were detected at an average encounter rate of 8%. Landscape predictions of rare plant habitat can improve our understanding of environmental limits in rarity, guide local management decisions and monitoring plans, and provide regional tools for assessing impacts from resource development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity Conservation with Remote Sensing Techniques)
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Open AccessArticle
Processed Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) Food Products in Malawi: From Poor Men’s to Premium-Priced Specialty Food?
Forests 2020, 11(6), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060698 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 285
Abstract
The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L.) is an important source of non-timber forest products in sub-Saharan Africa. Its fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and dietary fibre. In addition, other parts of the tree are traditionally used for human consumption, [...] Read more.
The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L.) is an important source of non-timber forest products in sub-Saharan Africa. Its fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and dietary fibre. In addition, other parts of the tree are traditionally used for human consumption, particularly during lean seasons. In line with the increasing demand for natural, healthy, and nutritious food products, the baobab has great potential to contribute to human nutrition and rural livelihoods. In Malawi, where demand for baobab has substantially increased within the last decade, baobab fruits are being processed into a variety of food and non-food products, such as fruit juice, ice-lollies, sweets, and cosmetics. Yet, information on the sociodemographic background and quality preferences of baobab consumers is scanty. The current study, therefore, aimed to (1) map the diversity of baobab products available in Malawi; (2) determine consumer segments and their preferences for the most common baobab food products; and (3) examine the contribution of major attributes of processed baobab food products on their price. We employed a mixed-methods approach including the analysis of 132 baobab products and a survey of 141 consumers in formal and informal retail outlets, adopting multistage and purposive sampling. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed using cluster analysis, cross tabulation, and hedonic regression. Results pointed to two distinct consumer segments for baobab food products, largely following the formal–informal product divide currently existing in Malawi. Both segments clearly differed with regard to preferred product attributes. We also showed that extrinsic product attributes such as packaging quality, labelling, conformity with food standards, or health claims provided distinct differentiation potential for baobab food manufacturers. In addition to providing empirical evidence for the transition of baobab food products into higher-value market segments, our results can help food processing enterprises to improve the composition and marketing of their baobab products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest, Foods and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Preferences for Conservation and Breeding Programs of Forestry Food Resources in Niger
Forests 2020, 11(6), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060697 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
In a less-favored area such as the Sahel, promoting sustainable management, breeding, and conservation of forestry resources would result in improvements for agroforestry systems and food security. A contingent ranking exercise allowed us to estimate the preferences and the values given by the [...] Read more.
In a less-favored area such as the Sahel, promoting sustainable management, breeding, and conservation of forestry resources would result in improvements for agroforestry systems and food security. A contingent ranking exercise allowed us to estimate the preferences and the values given by the rural population to the attributes that would be comprised in a conservation program. The resulting preferred program is farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) based on the species Adansonia digitata (baobab), with plantation, stone bunds, or tassa, and selected or bred seeds. The proposed actions to improve the tree density and the seed quality were highly valued by the respondents. Nevertheless, no clear differences were found between tassa and stone bunds, or FMNR and plantation. The main effects of the program, according to the surveyed population, include an increase in crop production and soil conservation, and higher income from tree products. This study allowed us to identify the program that would provide the greatest well-being for farmers, since it would allow them to simultaneously improve both the production of their crops and the production of the woody food species. It was shown that farmers were particularly willing to contribute to a program based on baobab, mainly because its products are used for food in the home and can be sold in markets. In this sense, the yield and production of the system would be improved by increasing the number of baobab trees. Farmers would contribute to this production system and would be willing to invest sustainable effort in the long term. The conservation and breeding program can be directed at conserving and propagating the genetic resources of A. digitata in an initial phase, selecting trees with good production, growth, and adaptation characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Valuation and Sustainable Management of Forests)
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Open AccessArticle
Visiting the Forest with Kindergarten Children: Forest Suitability
Forests 2020, 11(6), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060696 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 258
Abstract
By providing ecosystem services, urban forests contribute significantly to the well-being of urban populations. Urban forests, along with other urban green spaces, are often the closest natural environment in the city where a child can play. The majority of pre-school children spend a [...] Read more.
By providing ecosystem services, urban forests contribute significantly to the well-being of urban populations. Urban forests, along with other urban green spaces, are often the closest natural environment in the city where a child can play. The majority of pre-school children spend a large part of the day in kindergarten, which means that forest visits should have a prominent place in the kindergarten curriculum. Therefore, this study focuses on making the forest more suitable and thus more accessible for visits with children. The first goal of the research is to identify teachers’ preferences for the forest environment they visit with a group of pre-school children. The second goal is to present a forest suitability model for a visit with kindergarten children based on the teachers’ preferences. Based on the research survey conducted among the teachers in Slovenian public kindergartens, we formed and evaluated the criteria for the construction of a model of forest suitability for a visit with children. As the most important requirement for visiting a forest, the teachers note its proximity. They prefer a mature, mixed forest, with a bit of undergrowth, dead wood, and a presence of water and a meadow. Based on the identified criteria, we used the multi-criteria evaluation method in the GIS-environment in order to build a model of urban forest suitability for a visit with kindergarten groups of children in the study area of the City of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The results are useful in urban forest planning and management to ensure better forest suitability and accessibility for visits by children. Suitability maps can be used as one of the spatial foundations necessary for an integrated urban forest planning with emphasis on social functions. The model can be adapted beyond Slovenia to different spatial and social requirements and contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Restored Forest Spatial Structure in Semi-Arid Mine Dumps Using Worldview-2 Imagery
Forests 2020, 11(6), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060695 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Forest monitoring is critical to the management and successful evaluation of ecological restoration in mined areas. However, in the past, available monitoring has mainly focused on traditional parameters and lacked estimation of the spatial structural parameters (SSPs) of forests. The SSPs are important [...] Read more.
Forest monitoring is critical to the management and successful evaluation of ecological restoration in mined areas. However, in the past, available monitoring has mainly focused on traditional parameters and lacked estimation of the spatial structural parameters (SSPs) of forests. The SSPs are important indicators of forest health and resilience. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of estimating the SSPs of restored forest in semi-arid mine dumps using Worldview-2 imagery. We used the random forest to extract the dominant feature factor subset; then, a regression model and mind evolutionary algorithm-back propagation (MEA-BP) neural network model were established to estimate the forest SSP. The results show that the textural features found using 3 × 3 window have a relatively high importance score in the random forest model. This indicates that the 3 × 3 texture factors have a relatively strong ability to explain the restored forest SSPs when compared with spectral factors. The optimal regression model has an R2 of 0.6174 and an MSRE of 0.1001. The optimal MEA-BP neural network model has an R2 of 0.6975 and an MSRE of 0.0906, which shows that the MEA-BP neural network has greater accuracy than the regression model. The estimation shows that the tree–shrub–grass mode with an average of 0.7351 has the highest SSP, irrespective of the restoration age. In addition, the SSP of each forest configuration type increases with the increase in restoration age except for the single grass configuration. The increase range of SSP across all modes was 0.0047–0.1471 after more than ten years of restoration. In conclusion, the spatial structure of a mixed forest mode is relatively complex. Application cases show that Worldview-2 imagery and the MEA-BP neural network method can support the effective evaluation of the spatial structure of restored forest in semi-arid mine dumps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Eucalyptus Are Unlikely to Escape Plantations and Invade Surrounding Forests Managed with Prescribed Fire in Southeastern US
Forests 2020, 11(6), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060694 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Woody biomass production can increase through establishment of non-native tree species exhibiting greater growth potential than traditional native species. Interest in growing Eucalyptus in the southeastern US has raised concern over its potential spread and invasion, which could impact ecosystem properties and functions. [...] Read more.
Woody biomass production can increase through establishment of non-native tree species exhibiting greater growth potential than traditional native species. Interest in growing Eucalyptus in the southeastern US has raised concern over its potential spread and invasion, which could impact ecosystem properties and functions. Within the matrix of land use where Eucalyptus establishment is being considered in the southeastern US, surrounding pine forests managed with fire represent a likely pathway for invasion. We used greenhouse and field experiments to evaluate the potential invasion risk of Eucalyptus benthamii. We were specifically interested in determining if seeds could successfully germinate in fire-maintained pine forests and if fire-return intervals influenced germination through impacts on litter accumulation and light availability. The greenhouse experiment investigated the influence of light availability on germination success, whereas the field study investigated the influence of time since fire, and thus litter accumulation and light availability, on germination success. Percent germination was similar under non-shaded controls and moderate shade, but complete shade resulted in low germination rates. Germination was lower in the field compared to the greenhouse and was influenced by litter and light availability, which varied according to fire-return intervals. Litter increased, and light availability decreased, with time since burn. Germination was negatively related to litter depth and positively related to light availability, thereby decreasing with time since fire. Germination increased with litter removal but remained positively related to light availability after litter removal. Higher germination with litter removal suggests germination is influenced by litter, but higher germination with increased light availability, regardless of raking, suggests germination is also influenced by light availability. Despite these relationships, no seedlings persisted through the growing season. The low germination rates under a variety of field conditions coupled with the lack of persistence suggests establishment may be unlikely, regardless of the surrounding land matrix. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Non-Industrial Wood Ash (NIWA) Applications on Soil Chemistry and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum, Marsh.) Seedling Growth in an Acidic Sugar Bush in Central Ontario
Forests 2020, 11(6), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060693 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Research Highlights: In central Ontario, large quantities of non-industrial wood ash (NIWA) are generated and could be used as a forest soil amendment to counteract soil acidification and base cation depletion caused by decades of acid deposition. Background and Objectives: The properties and [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: In central Ontario, large quantities of non-industrial wood ash (NIWA) are generated and could be used as a forest soil amendment to counteract soil acidification and base cation depletion caused by decades of acid deposition. Background and Objectives: The properties and biogeochemical responses of NIWA have not been thoroughly explored, and field experiments must be conducted before NIWA can be regulated as a forest soil amendment in Ontario. Materials and Methods: In this study, soil chemistry and sugar maple (Acer saccharum, Marsh.) seedling growth and chemistry were measured in an acidic sugar bush over twelve months following a NIWA field experiment. Plots (2 m by 2 m) were established with sugar maple, white pine (Pinus strobus L.), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) NIWA treatments applied at rates of 6 Mg ha−1 along with untreated control plots. Results: Ash chemistry varied significantly among species and yellow birch ash generally had much higher metal concentrations compared with other species. Following ash application, significant increases in soil pH and calcium and magnesium concentrations were observed, however the level of response varied by treatment. Foliar concentrations of base cations in sugar maple seedlings significantly increased in ash treatments and there was no significant treatment effect on foliar metal concentrations or seedling growth. In roots and shoots, concentrations of several metals (manganese, aluminum, iron, boron, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, copper, lead, chromium, and nickel) increased after ash application, however response was most pronounced in yellow birch ash. Conclusions: These results suggest that application of NIWA can counteract the lasting effects of acid rain by increasing soil pH and base cation concentrations, as well as increasing sugar maple seedling foliar nutrient concentrations, but ashes from species with high metal contents may also increase metal availability to vegetation, at least in the short-term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Management and Forest Productivity)
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Storability of Norway Spruce Container Seedlings in Freezer Storage as Affected by Short-Day Treatment
Forests 2020, 11(6), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060692 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Determination of safe times at which to transfer seedlings to freezer storage is problematic in forest tree nurseries. The present study aimed to determine the relationship between pre-storage frost hardiness (FH) of different plant parts, dry matter content (DMC), chilling hours (the sum [...] Read more.
Determination of safe times at which to transfer seedlings to freezer storage is problematic in forest tree nurseries. The present study aimed to determine the relationship between pre-storage frost hardiness (FH) of different plant parts, dry matter content (DMC), chilling hours (the sum of hours when temperature was between −5 °C and +5 °C), and post-storage vitality, and the impact of short-day (SD) treatment on these relationships. One and a half year old control seedlings and SD-treated seedlings of Norway spruce were transferred to freezer storage (−3 °C) on five occasions during autumn. On each occasion, the FH of buds, needles, stem, and roots, as well as DMC, were determined, and chilling hours were calculated. The vitality of the freezer-stored seedlings was determined through their root growth capacity in the subsequent spring, and through the field performance of the seedlings (shoot growth and seedling damage) at the end of the following two growing seasons. Seedlings were considered to be storable when the FH of the needles was at least −25 °C, and the FH of the roots was about −10 °C in both treatments. Early storage reduced the vitality of the seedlings. SD treatment did not advance the storability of the seedlings, although it alleviated some of the negative effects of early storage by improving the FH of needles and stem, but not that of the roots. The DMC value, indicating storability, was higher for SD-treated seedlings than for control seedlings. When data from five experiments conducted in Suonenjoki were combined, it was found that the relationship between accumulation of chilling hours and needle FH was dependent on nursery treatment and assessment year, which reduces the reliability of using chilling hours in predicting the storability of Norway spruce seedlings. The predicted climate change may complicate the fall acclimation of seedlings. New, user-friendly methods for determining storability of seedlings are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessCommunication
Chronosequence of Fuel Loading and Fuel Depth Following Forest Rehabilitation Frill Treatment of Tanoak to Release Douglas-Fir: A Case Study from Northern California
Forests 2020, 11(6), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060691 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 341
Abstract
There is concern that forest management activities such as chemical thinning may increase hazardous fuel loading and therefore increase risk of stand-replacing wildfire. Chemical thinning, often accomplished by frill treatment of unwanted trees, leaves trees standing dead for a time before they fall [...] Read more.
There is concern that forest management activities such as chemical thinning may increase hazardous fuel loading and therefore increase risk of stand-replacing wildfire. Chemical thinning, often accomplished by frill treatment of unwanted trees, leaves trees standing dead for a time before they fall and become surface fuels. In coastal northern California, frill treatment is used as a forest rehabilitation treatment that removes tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) to release merchantable conifers from excessive competition. We studied fuel bed depth and fuel loading after frill treatment of tanoak along a 16-year chronosequence that substituted space for time. The total depth of fuel bed was separated into woody fuels, litter, and duff. The height of each layer was variable and greatest on average in post-treatment year 5 after treated tanoak had begun to break apart and fall. Initially, the evergreen tanoak trees retained their foliage for at least a year after treatment. Five years after treatment, many tanoak had fallen and transitioned to become fine- and coarse woody debris. After 11 years, the larger pieces of down wood were mostly classified as rotten. After 16 years, the fuel loading appeared roughly equivalent to pre-treatment levels, however we did not explicitly test for differences due to potential confounding between time and multiple factors such as inter-annual climate variations and site attributes. Nevertheless, our data provide some insight into changes in surface fuel characteristics due to rehabilitation treatments. These data can be used as inputs for fire behavior modeling to generate indicative predictions of fire effects such as fire severity and how these change over time since treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Green Space Accessibility and Distribution Equity in an Arid Oasis City: Urumqi, China
Forests 2020, 11(6), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060690 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 319
Abstract
Urban green space (UGS) is crucial to the healthy development of urban residents. However, UGS that is accessible can benefit residents to an even greater degree. Based on the two-step floating catchment area model (2SFCA) and the location quotient (LQ), we analyzed the [...] Read more.
Urban green space (UGS) is crucial to the healthy development of urban residents. However, UGS that is accessible can benefit residents to an even greater degree. Based on the two-step floating catchment area model (2SFCA) and the location quotient (LQ), we analyzed the changes from 1999 to 2019 in UGS walking accessibility and equity in built-up areas of Urumqi at different administrative levels, and how UGS policy affects the improvement of accessibility. The results showed that UGS accessibility and equity are not evenly distributed at different administrative levels and UGS categories. Although the overall UGS accessibility and equity has improved with policy implementation, these changes are caused by metro-level UGS construction in urban fringe areas. The improvement in UGS accessibility at the neighborhood level in densely populated areas is neglected, which leads to a mismatch between UGS construction and population distribution. In addition, the accessibility of UGS is also limited by geographical location, population density, road distribution, and water shortage in arid metropolitan Urumqi. Our research results provide a theoretical basis for Urumqi and other cities in the optimization of UGS structure and the realization of social equity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Forestry Planning and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Geographic Distribution of the Endangered Plant Species Manihot walkerae
Forests 2020, 11(6), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060689 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Walker’s Manihot, Manihot walkerae, is an endangered plant that is endemic to the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion of extreme southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. M. walkerae populations are highly fragmented and are found on both protected public lands and private property. Habitat loss [...] Read more.
Walker’s Manihot, Manihot walkerae, is an endangered plant that is endemic to the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion of extreme southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. M. walkerae populations are highly fragmented and are found on both protected public lands and private property. Habitat loss and competition by invasive species are the most detrimental threats for M. walkerae; however, the effect of climate change on M. walkerae’s geographic distribution remains unexplored and could result in further range restrictions. Our objectives are to evaluate the potential effects of climate change on the distribution of M. walkerae and assess the usefulness of natural protected areas in future conservation. We predict current and future geographic distribution for M. walkerae (years 2050 and 2070) using three different general circulation models (CM3, CMIP5, and HADGEM) and two climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). A total of nineteen spatially rarefied occurrences for M. walkerae and ten non-highly correlated bioclimatic variables were inputted to the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) to produce twenty replicates per scenario. The area under the curve (AUC) value for the consensus model was higher than 0.90 and the partial ROC value was higher than 1.80, indicating a high predictive ability. The potential reduction in geographic distribution for M. walkerae by the effect of climate change was variable throughout the models, but collectively they predict a restriction in distribution. The most severe reductions were 9% for the year 2050 with the CM3 model at an 8.5 RCP, and 14% for the year 2070 with the CMIP5 model at the 4.5 RCP. The future geographic distribution of M. walkerae was overlapped with protected lands in the U.S. and Mexico in order to identify areas that could be suitable for future conservation efforts. In the U.S. there are several protected areas that are potentially suitable for M. walkerae, whereas in Mexico no protected areas exist within M. walkerae suitable habitat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling of Species Distribution and Biodiversity in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Phenology Drives Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Throughfall under a Single Quercus castaneifolia C.A.Mey.
Forests 2020, 11(6), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060688 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 383
Abstract
Throughfall (TF) makes up the majority of understory rainfall and thereby plays an important role in controlling the amount of water reaching the forest floor. TF under a single Quercus castaneifolia (C.A.Mey, chestnut-leaved oak) tree in Northern Iran was measured during [...] Read more.
Throughfall (TF) makes up the majority of understory rainfall and thereby plays an important role in controlling the amount of water reaching the forest floor. TF under a single Quercus castaneifolia (C.A.Mey, chestnut-leaved oak) tree in Northern Iran was measured during the leafed and leafless periods. TF quantity under the Q. castaneifolia canopy made up 69.3% and 88.0% of gross rainfall during leafed and leafless periods, respectively. Phenoseason influenced TF distribution patterns as TF temporal patterns during the leafed period were slightly more stable than during the leafless periods. The minimum number of TF collectors needed to yield a representative mean TF with accepted errors of 10% at 95% confidence level was twenty-six and twelve TF collectors for leafed and leafless periods, respectively. We conclude that phenoseasonality significantly affects TF spatiotemporal variability and presented the required number of collectors necessary for sampling TF under an individual Q. castaneifolia tree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management and Modeling in Forestry)
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Open AccessReview
Evaluation of Wild Foods for Responsible Human Consumption and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
Forests 2020, 11(6), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060687 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Traditional consumption of plants, fungi and wild animals constitutes a reality for the feeding of diverse human groups in different tropical territories of the world. In this regard, there are two views within the academic community: (1) those who defend the importance of [...] Read more.
Traditional consumption of plants, fungi and wild animals constitutes a reality for the feeding of diverse human groups in different tropical territories of the world. In this regard, there are two views within the academic community: (1) those who defend the importance of the traditional consumption for family food security in rural areas, especially in tropical countries with emerging development; and (2) those who affirm their inconvenience as they are considered vectors of rapidly spreading diseases worldwide. A systematic literature review and an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with experts were carried out to identify the contributing criteria and dimensions in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) that help evaluate the potential of wild foods for responsible consumption in terms of human health and nature conservation. Four dimensions were identified. The first three are: (1) importance of food for the community that consumes it (w = 0.31); (2) nutritional value and risks for human health (w = 0.28) and (3) sustainability of the local use of wild food model (w = 0.27). These three obtained similar integrated relative weights, which suggests the possible balanced importance in the formulation of multidisciplinary methods for estimating the potential of wild foods. The fourth identified dimension is: (4) transformation techniques for turning wild foods into products with commercial potential, obtained an integrated relative weight of 0.14, which, although is lower than the other three, still contributes to the potential of this type of food. The study found ten assessment criteria to evaluate the identified dimensions, constituting a starting point to estimate the potential of this type of food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest, Foods and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Classifying Wood Properties of Loblolly Pine Grown in Southern Brazil Using NIR-Hyperspectral Imaging
Forests 2020, 11(6), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060686 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most important commercial timber species in the world. While the species is native to the southeastern United States of America (USA), it has been widely planted in southern Brazil, where it is the [...] Read more.
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most important commercial timber species in the world. While the species is native to the southeastern United States of America (USA), it has been widely planted in southern Brazil, where it is the most commonly planted exotic species. Interest exists in utilizing nondestructive testing methods for wood property assessment to aid in improving the wood quality of Brazilian grown loblolly pine. We used near-infrared hyperspectral imaging (NIR-HSI) on increment cores to provide data representative of the radial variation of families sampled from a 10-year-old progeny test located in Rio Negrinho municipality, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Hyperspectral images were averaged to provide an individual NIR spectrum per tree for cluster analysis (hierarchical complete linkage with square Euclidean distance) to identify trees with similar wood properties. Four clusters (0, 1, 2, 3) were identified, and based on SilviScan data for air-dry density, microfibril angle (MFA), and stiffness, clusters differed in average wood properties. Average ring data demonstrated that trees in Cluster 0 had the highest average ring densities, and those in Cluster 3 the lowest. Cluster 3 trees also had the lowest ring MFAs. NIR-HSI provides a rapid approach for collecting wood property data and, when coupled with cluster analysis, potentially, allows screening for desirable wood properties amongst families in tree improvement programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science)
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Open AccessConference Report
Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making It Happen
Forests 2020, 11(6), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060685 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 645
Abstract
Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is gaining widespread recognition from governments and policymakers for its potential to restore key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. We organized an international conference on FLR, titled—Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making it Happen, between 25–27 [...] Read more.
Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is gaining widespread recognition from governments and policymakers for its potential to restore key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. We organized an international conference on FLR, titled—Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making it Happen, between 25–27 February 2019 in Manila, the Philippines with 139 participants from 22 countries. The Forest and Landscape Restoration Standards (FLoRES) task force also met prior to the conference, which included a field visit to a pilot community-based forest reforestation site in Biliran Island, the Philippines. Based on the three-day conference, case study presentations, and FLoRES task force meeting, we prepared the Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration to highlight the need to support quality of FLR efforts and outcomes in the tropics. Here we provide a synthesis of the main messages of the conference, with key outcomes including the Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration, and ways forward to make quality FLR happen on the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting the Potential Global Geographical Distribution of Two Icerya Species under Climate Change
Forests 2020, 11(6), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060684 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Climate change is predicted to alter the geographic distribution of a wide variety of taxa, including insects. Icerya aegyptiaca (Douglas) and I. purchasi Maskell are two polyphagous and invasive pests in the genus Icerya Signoret (Hemiptera: Monophlebidae) and cause serious damage to many [...] Read more.
Climate change is predicted to alter the geographic distribution of a wide variety of taxa, including insects. Icerya aegyptiaca (Douglas) and I. purchasi Maskell are two polyphagous and invasive pests in the genus Icerya Signoret (Hemiptera: Monophlebidae) and cause serious damage to many landscape and economic trees. However, the global habitats suitable for these two Icerya species are unclear. The purpose of this study is to determine the potentially suitable habitats of these two species, then to provide scientific management strategies. Using MaxEnt software, the potential risk maps of I. aegyptiaca and I. purchasi were created based on their occurrence data under different climatic conditions and topology factors. The results suggested that under current climate conditions, the potentially habitable area of I. aegyptiaca would be much larger than the current distribution and there would be small changes for I. purchasi. In the future climate change scenarios, the suitable habitats of these two insect species will display an increasing trend. Africa, South America and Asia would be more suitable for I. aegyptiaca. South America, Asia and Europe would be more suitable for I. purchasi. Moreover, most of the highly habitat suitability areas of I. aegyptiaca will become concentrated in Southern Asia. The results also suggested that “min temperature of coldest month” was the most important environmental factor affecting the prediction models of these two insects. This research provides a theoretical reference framework for developing policies to manage and control these two invasive pests of the genus Icerya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Management of Invasive Species in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Wood Chips for Revitalization of Degraded Forest Soil on Young Scots Pine Plantation
Forests 2020, 11(6), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060683 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of several methods of mulching degraded forest soil with wood chips on the development of mite (Acari) community, with particular emphasis to oribatid mites (Oribatida), and on the growth of young plantings of [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of several methods of mulching degraded forest soil with wood chips on the development of mite (Acari) community, with particular emphasis to oribatid mites (Oribatida), and on the growth of young plantings of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Mulching with wood chips should contribute to revitalize soil fauna and restore natural forests on degraded soils. Scots pine seedlings were planted at the post-military training ground. Four experimental treatments were tested: control—uncovered soil (C), mulching with wood chips (W), W + mycorrhiza preparation (WM), and W + forest litter (WL). At the end of the growing season in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the following plant measurements were carried out: length of annual increment of the main stem, stem base diameter, number and lengths of lateral shoots in the annual whorl. The mite calculations included average mite density, dominance index, species richness, oribatid mite diversity, average number of species, and Shannon general species diversity index. The use of mulching with wood chips did not significantly affect the growth characteristics of Scots pine plants, but strongly increased the mite community. After mulching, the total number and species diversity of Acari increased many times, and Oribatida began to dominate among micro-arthropods. The number of Oribatida increased most in W. The largest species diversity was observed in WL. 24 species of Oribatida were found that were used as the bio-indicators of soil succession changes. Tectocepheus velatus clearly dominated in all mulching treatments. Oppiella nova and Scutovertex sculptus were also numerous populations of Oribatida. The study shows that mulching with Scots pine wood chips, especially with the addition of forest litter, significantly enriches soil fauna and is therefore useful in the regeneration process of degenerated forest soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restoring Forest Landscapes: Impact on Soil Properties and Functions)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification of Lichen Cover and Biomass Using Field Data, Airborne Laser Scanning and High Spatial Resolution Optical Data—A Case Study from a Canadian Boreal Pine Forest
Forests 2020, 11(6), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060682 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Ground-dwelling macrolichens dominate the forest floor of mature upland pine stands in the boreal forest. Understanding patterns of lichen abundance, as well as environmental characteristics associated with lichen growth, is key to managing lichens as a forage resource for threatened woodland caribou ( [...] Read more.
Ground-dwelling macrolichens dominate the forest floor of mature upland pine stands in the boreal forest. Understanding patterns of lichen abundance, as well as environmental characteristics associated with lichen growth, is key to managing lichens as a forage resource for threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). The spectral signature of light-coloured lichen distinguishes it from green vegetation, potentially allowing for mapping of lichen abundance using multi-spectral imagery, while canopy structure measured from airborne laser scanning (ALS) of forest openings can indirectly map lichen habitat. Here, we test the use of high-resolution KOMPSAT (Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-3) imagery (280 cm resolution) and forest structural characteristics derived from ALS to predict lichen biomass in an upland jack pine forest in Northeastern Alberta, Canada. We quantified in the field lichen abundance (cover and biomass) in mature jack pine stands across low, moderate, and high canopy cover. We then used generalized linear models to relate lichen abundance to spectral data from KOMPSAT and structural metrics from ALS. Model selection suggested that lichen abundance was best predicted by canopy cover (ALS points > 1.37 m) and to a lesser extent blue spectral data from KOMPSAT. Lichen biomass was low at plots with high canopy cover (98.96 g/m2), while almost doubling for plots with low canopy cover (186.30 g/m2). Overall the model fit predicting lichen biomass was good (R2 c = 0.35), with maps predicting lichen biomass from spectral and structural data illustrating strong spatial variations. High-resolution mapping of ground lichen can provide information on lichen abundance that can be of value for management of forage resources for woodland caribou. We suggest that this approach could be used to map lichen biomass for other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity Conservation with Remote Sensing Techniques)
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