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Forests, Volume 13, Issue 2 (February 2022) – 226 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mixed cropping in short rotation coppice can be an alternative to monocultures. To design optimized mixtures, field trials are needed. Poplar, as an economically important and fast-growing species, and black locust, as a nitrogen-fixing species, are promising candidates for such studies. RNA sequencing was used to monitor effects of mixed and pure cultivations on the gene expression of poplar along with growth measurements during 2017 and 2018. Both biomass production and leaf transcriptomes revealed a strong competition pressure of black locust and the abiotic environment on poplar trees. Gene expression differed between the two study sites and pure and mixed stands. Shading effects, different light availability, and drought conditions changed the response of poplar leaf transcriptome. View this paper.
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Article
Calorific Characteristics of Larch (Larix decidua) and Oak (Quercus robur) Pellets Realized from Native and Torrefied Sawdust
Forests 2022, 13(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020361 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 548
Abstract
This research aimed to evaluate the calorific characteristics of two biomasses from larch and oak sawdust in the form of native or torrefied pellets. Some calorific features of these two kinds of biomasses, such as ash content, higher and lower calorific values, calorific [...] Read more.
This research aimed to evaluate the calorific characteristics of two biomasses from larch and oak sawdust in the form of native or torrefied pellets. Some calorific features of these two kinds of biomasses, such as ash content, higher and lower calorific values, calorific density and many others were highlighted, allowing for a comparison between oak and larch torrefied/not torrefied pellets. Installations and methods used for the process of torrefaction and for highlighting some of the calorific features were also evaluated. As a result of experiments, it was demonstrated that the larch and oak pellets were different in terms of density, but that after thermal treatment, the calorific values of both increased considerably. The investigations evidenced some increases in calorific value, up to 15.8%, for both the larch and oak sawdust/pellets. One of the main conclusions of this research was that, even though the role of biomass has diminished considerably in the last few decades, its role as a sustainable fuel remains relevant. Its use will become more widespread when the world’s population understands that fossil fuels are depletable and that they must be replaced by renewable fuels such as biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novelties in Wood Engineering and Forestry)
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Article
Response of Functional Diversity of Soil Microbial Community to Forest Cutting and Regeneration Methodology in a Chinese Fir Plantation
Forests 2022, 13(2), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020360 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
With the expansion of pure forest planting area and the increase in the number of rotations used, soil activity and plant productivity have significantly reduced. The functional diversity of soil microorganisms plays a vital role in forest health and the long-term maintenance of [...] Read more.
With the expansion of pure forest planting area and the increase in the number of rotations used, soil activity and plant productivity have significantly reduced. The functional diversity of soil microorganisms plays a vital role in forest health and the long-term maintenance of productivity. Though the optimization of forest cutting and regeneration methodologies is necessary to improve the functional diversity of soil microorganisms, the effects of harvest residual treatment on the functional diversity of soil microorganisms remain unclear. During the period 2018–2020, we designed four harvest residual treatments—reference (RF), residual burning (RB), crushing and mulching (MT), and no residuals (NR)—to determine soil physical and chemical properties. We also used microbial biomass (MB) to evaluate the diversity in carbon source metabolism of soil microorganisms through Biolog microplate technology, and discussed the response mechanism of microbial functional diversity to the different forest cutting and regeneration methodologies used in Chinese fir plantations. The results indicated that RB significantly increased the carbon metabolic capacity of the microbial community, the community richness, and its dominance compared to RF, MT, and NR; however, they also showed that it decreased the uniformity of the soil microbial community. NR showed a poor carbon utilization capacity for microorganisms compared to RF and MT, while MT significantly increased the utilization capacity of carbohydrate and amino acid carbon compared with RF. Soil nutrients were the main driving factors of soil microbial carbon metabolic activity, and the different responses of microbial functional diversity to various forest cutting and regeneration methodologies were mainly due to the variation in the nutrient inputs of harvest residues. This study provides a practical basis for enhancing the functional diversity of soil microorganisms in plantations through the management of harvest residues. Full article
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Article
Unveiling Falling Urban Trees before and during Typhoon Higos (2020): Empirical Case Study of Potential Structural Failure Using Tilt Sensor
Forests 2022, 13(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020359 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Urban trees in a densely populated environment may pose risks to the public’s safety in terms of the potential danger of injuries and fatalities, loss of property, impacts on traffic, etc. The biological and mechanical features of urban trees may change over [...] Read more.
Urban trees in a densely populated environment may pose risks to the public’s safety in terms of the potential danger of injuries and fatalities, loss of property, impacts on traffic, etc. The biological and mechanical features of urban trees may change over time, thereby affecting the stability of the tree structure. This can be a gradual process but can also be drastic, especially after typhoons or heavy rainstorms. Trees may fall at any time with no discernible signs of failure being exhibited or detected. It is always a challenge in urban tree management to develop a preventive alert system to detect the potential failure of hazardous urban trees and hence be able to have an action plan to handle potential tree tilting or tree collapse. Few studies have considered the comparison of tree morphology to the tilt response relative to uprooting failure in urban cities. New methods involving numerical modeling and sensing technologies provide tools for an effective and deeper understanding of the interaction of root-plate movement and windstorm with the application of the tailor-made sensor. In this study, root-plate tilt variations of 889 trees with sensors installed during Typhoon Higos (2020) are investigated, especially the tilting pattern of the two trees that failed in the event. The correlation of tree response during the typhoon among all trees with tilt measurements was also evaluated. The results from two alarm levels developed in the study, i.e., Increasing Trend Alarm and Sudden Increase Alarm indicated that significant root-plate movement to wind response is species-dependent. These systems could help inform decision making to identify the problematic trees in the early stage. Through the use of smart sensors, the data collected by the alert system provides a very useful analysis of the stability of tree structure and tree health in urban tree management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Stability and Tree Risk Analysis)
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Article
Does Vertical Greening Really Play Such a Big Role in an Indoor Thermal Environment?
Forests 2022, 13(2), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020358 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Little attention has been paid to indoor cooling compared with the surface cooling of vertical greening. The few studies on the indoor cooling of vertical greening are almost all conducted in a hot climate area with windowless building models, which is suspected to [...] Read more.
Little attention has been paid to indoor cooling compared with the surface cooling of vertical greening. The few studies on the indoor cooling of vertical greening are almost all conducted in a hot climate area with windowless building models, which is suspected to exaggerate the role of vertical greening in an indoor thermal environment. Through two improvements, this paper explored the realistic impact of vertical greening on an indoor thermal environment. First, we built models according to the actual window-to-wall ratio rather than a fictitious model without windows. Second, an annual cycle evaluation, considering both hot summer and cold winter, was used to replace the typical hot day. With the support of Envi-met and Kriging models, the results revealed that the existing research not only exaggerated vertical greening’s positive effects on an indoor thermal environment in hot seasons but also ignored its potential harms to thermal perception in cold seasons. These exaggerated results could easily cause the abuse of vertical greening in cities. In actual windowed buildings, the role of vertical greening in indoor temperatures is not always positive, and the positive effect is not as strong as previous studies suggest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Tree Design and Urban Microclimate)
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Article
Verifying the Lifting and Slewing Dynamics of a Harvester Crane with Possible Levelling When Operating on Sloping Grounds
Forests 2022, 13(2), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020357 - 20 Feb 2022
Viewed by 686
Abstract
This paper focuses on the force and torque load of a harvester hydraulic crane employed on sloping grounds, both levelled and not levelled. Field research was conducted for this purpose and the results were compared with a dynamic analysis of the crane in [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the force and torque load of a harvester hydraulic crane employed on sloping grounds, both levelled and not levelled. Field research was conducted for this purpose and the results were compared with a dynamic analysis of the crane in MSC Adams. It was found that levelling the slewing platform of the crane is necessary for use on sloping grounds, primarily because the effect on the force and lifting torques is reduced. The research showed that when the slope of the slewing gear is up to −12°, the lifting torque reaches a higher maximum lifting force than when the slewing gear is in a horizontal position (0°). As part of the theoretical verification by a dynamic analysis of the crane and the AH6 machine, a different pressure was detected in the lifting cylinder of the crane compared to the field research. The total deviation between the simulation and the field research was 9.82%. The slewing torque of the hydraulic crane without the slewing bearing being levelled can be characterized 97.38% by a parabola whose vertex is located in front of the front part of the machine and falls as the crane moves left or right. Overall, it can be determined that when the crane rotates up a slope, whether it is from left or right, the slewing torque reaches the lowest values, and its value increases as the crane gets closer to the front of the machine (along the longitudinal axis of the machine). This change in the slewing torque is then characterized by a parabola. Furthermore, an effect was observed of the slewing gear slope on the lifting torque, which reached higher values in a tilted position than on a flat surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Operations and Engineering)
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Article
COVID-19 Anxiety as a Moderator of the Relationship between Organizational Change and Perception of Organizational Politics in Forestry Public Sector
Forests 2022, 13(2), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020356 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
In addition to an outstanding commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) agenda to good governance (goal no. 16), there is an argument that the SDGs can only be achieved through good governance with strong political institutions and processes. In Indonesia, a new [...] Read more.
In addition to an outstanding commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) agenda to good governance (goal no. 16), there is an argument that the SDGs can only be achieved through good governance with strong political institutions and processes. In Indonesia, a new era in politics has been marked with the new leadership of Joko Widodo (the current Indonesian President) who has a vision to reform the Indonesian bureaucracy. One of the bureaucratic reform implementations is the merging of the Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Environment into the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoE). In this kind of organizational change, employees may have increased perceptions of organizational politics and feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This effect is suspected to be exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article, therefore, aims to investigate the effects of organizational change in the public sector. Based on a survey of 112 state civil apparatuses in the forestry sector in Indonesia, we found that organizational change is positively related to employees’ perception of organizational politics. Nevertheless, our most intriguing finding is that the COVID pandemic situation has decreased employees’ perception of organizational politics. This is because political behaviors are difficult to perform in virtual working settings due to reduced face-to-face interaction and limited non-verbal cues. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Resources on the Adaptability of State Forest Companies. Some Evidence from the State Forests National Forest Holding
Forests 2022, 13(2), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020355 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 477
Abstract
Structural, economic, and climate changes human activity and the growing complexity of the business environment significantly affect the forestry sector, which faces the need to adapt to the dynamically changing environment by strategic development of appropriate resources and skills. In this paper, we [...] Read more.
Structural, economic, and climate changes human activity and the growing complexity of the business environment significantly affect the forestry sector, which faces the need to adapt to the dynamically changing environment by strategic development of appropriate resources and skills. In this paper, we attempted to take on the managerial lens of dynamic capabilities, i.e., the abilities to adapt to the changes in the business environment to analyze whether the forestry sector is able to strategically develop resources that influence adaptability. We have attempted to demonstrate how the resources of the forest enterprises affect the adaptability described by the dynamic capabilities construct. Bearing in mind the importance of State Forests, we collected data from 129 forest districts in Poland and applied the ordered logistic regression to identify models that show the impact of specific categories of resources onto the forestry sector adaptability, described by the construct of dynamic capabilities. The results suggest that the forest districts strategically investing in technological, as well as human resources and skills, have higher chances of maintaining and developing the ability to adapt to the constantly changing economic environment. At the same time, our findings show that financial, reputational, and marketable resources and skills have no impact on the adaptability of the State Forests National Forest Holding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation Strategies and Their Impact on Forest Policy)
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Article
Mobile Messenger RNAs in Grafts of Salix matsudana Are Associated with Plant Rooting
Forests 2022, 13(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020354 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Messenger RNAs exchanged between scions and rootstocks of grafted plants seriously affect their traits performance. The study goals were to identify the long-distance mRNA transmission events in grafted willows using a transcriptome analysis and to reveal the possible effects on rooting traits. The [...] Read more.
Messenger RNAs exchanged between scions and rootstocks of grafted plants seriously affect their traits performance. The study goals were to identify the long-distance mRNA transmission events in grafted willows using a transcriptome analysis and to reveal the possible effects on rooting traits. The results showed that the Salix matsudana variety 9901 has better rooting ability than YJ, which reasonably improved the rooting performance of the heterologous grafts 9901 (scion)/YJ (rootstock). A transcriptome analysis showed that 2948 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were present in the rootstock of 9901/YJ grafted plants in comparison with YJ/YJ. Among them, 692 were identified as mRNAs moved from 9901 scion based on SNP analysis of two parents. They were mostly 1001–1500 bp, had 40–45% GC contents, or had expression abundance values less than 10. However, mRNAs over 4001 bp, having 50–55% GC contents, or having expression abundance values of 10–20 were preferentially transferred. Eight mRNAs subjected to long-distance trafficking were involved in the plant hormone pathways and may significantly promote the root growth of grafted plants. In summary, heterologous grafts of Salix matsudana could efficiently influence plant rooting of the mRNAs transport from scion to rootstock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Communities of Mycorrhizal Fungi among Seedlings of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Growing on a Clearcut in Microsites Generated by Different Site-Preparation Methods
Forests 2022, 13(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020353 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 370
Abstract
In European forests, the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) most often regenerates on clearcuts, following mechanical site preparation. Both of these silvicultural treatments (the removal of trees and preparation) have an impact on soil properties, and on the mycorrhizal fungi associated with [...] Read more.
In European forests, the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) most often regenerates on clearcuts, following mechanical site preparation. Both of these silvicultural treatments (the removal of trees and preparation) have an impact on soil properties, and on the mycorrhizal fungi associated with the roots of seedlings. We therefore compared assemblages of mycorrhizal fungi associating with natural-regeneration pine seedlings growing on a clearcut, in relation to six types of microsite created using three mechanical site-preparation tools, i.e., a double-mouldboard forest plough (creating furrow and ridge), an active single-disc plough (establishing another type of furrow and ridge), and a forest mill—developing strips, as well as a non-mechanical site preparation control. A total of 46 taxa of mycorrhizal fungi were detected, with Wilcoxina mikolae being the most abundant species (relative abundance—79.8%), and the one occurring most frequently (96.8%). Other abundant mycorrhizal fungi were Thelephora terrestris (3.8%), Tylospora asterophora (3.2%), Hyaloscypha bicolor (2.2%), and Cenococcum geophilum (1.7%). The roots of seedlings growing in the non-mechanical site preparation control were characterised by a significantly greater presence of mycorrhizal root tips, compared with the roots of seedlings growing at other microsites. The highest percentage of non-mycorrhizal root tips was present on pines growing on the two types of ridge: the microsites which characterized the highest levels of mineral nutrients. Communities of mycorrhizal fungi differed between microsites. The five microsites: both types of furrow, forest plough ridge, forest mill strip, and non-mechanical site preparation control, were not found to differ from each other, but did differ from the active plough ridge treatment. The highest diversity of mycorrhizal fungi (Shannon–Wiener and Simpson indexes) was in the non-mechanical site preparation control. Any method of mechanical site preparation in the clearcut decreases the level of root mycorrhization and the biodiversity of mycorrhizal fungi. The least suitable method from the point of view of mycorrhizal fungal communities is the use of an active plough. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Editorial
The Effects of Environmental Change on Decomposition
Forests 2022, 13(2), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020352 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Litter decomposition processes are regulated by three driving variables: physico-chemical climate, litter quality and decomposer organisms [...] Full article
Review
Methods for Watering Seedlings in Arid Zones
Forests 2022, 13(2), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020351 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 504
Abstract
This paper reviews different existing systems of seedling microirrigation in afforestation. These systems differ from agricultural irrigation methods since they only pursue the establishment of the planted seedlings instead of achieving good agricultural yields. They, therefore, involve very low irrigation doses compared to [...] Read more.
This paper reviews different existing systems of seedling microirrigation in afforestation. These systems differ from agricultural irrigation methods since they only pursue the establishment of the planted seedlings instead of achieving good agricultural yields. They, therefore, involve very low irrigation doses compared to the usual irrigation doses found in the agricultural sector. These approaches are nonconventional localized irrigation systems with high efficiency in water application. Based on the water discharge equations they use, these methods can be classified into four groups: direct deep irrigation, irrigation through porous walls, irrigation with wicks, and irrigation with solar distillers. This paper describes a total of sixteen different systems suitable for afforestation. All the systems are compared with each other. To make the comparisons, four key parameters are considered: the cost of acquiring and installing the system, the water application efficiency, the maintenance of the system, and the possibility of irrigating several plants at the same time. The irrigation systems described in this review represent an important technical advance not only for dryland forestry but also for rainfed arboriculture, xeriscaping, and xerogardening. These systems make it possible to widely extend the planting period to almost throughout the year, not only in arid regions but also in less dry or even humid climates, especially when critical areas have to be afforested, including shallow, sandy, saline, or gypseous soils, suntraps, windy and desertified areas, open pit mines, and other areas. Seedling microirrigation is an emerging sector of the irrigation industry that is rapidly developing with new devices and patents. Two foreseeable future trends can be identified: the growing use of new permeable materials and the possibility of connecting individual emitters to irrigation lines. Full article
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Article
Capacity Planning of Timber Harvesting in Windthrow Areas
Forests 2022, 13(2), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020350 - 19 Feb 2022
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Digitization can help the forest industry to improve cost efficiency and to reduce possible environmental impacts. In the context of this study, models were implemented using the example of windthrow processing, which enables a capacity planning for carrying out timber harvesting. For capacity [...] Read more.
Digitization can help the forest industry to improve cost efficiency and to reduce possible environmental impacts. In the context of this study, models were implemented using the example of windthrow processing, which enables a capacity planning for carrying out timber harvesting. For capacity planning, it is necessary to estimate the time required by the harvesting systems. For this purpose, existing productivity models were analyzed, the models were validated and adjusted, and the time required for each harvesting system and calamity area was calculated using stand and terrain parameters. Depending on the scenario and the preferred harvesting system, the time for harvesting the timber in an almost 200-hectare windthrow area in a case study region in Carinthia (Austria) varied. The harvesting with cable yarder and tractor takes about 26,000 machine hours and 86,000 man-hours. Harvesting operations with cable yarder and harvester-forwarder has proven to be the most productive with a duration of around 20,000 machine hours and 70,000 man-hours. Depending on the scenario, in windthrow areas, forest workers are needed for 28 to 42 min to fell, delimb, buck and extract 1 m3 of timber to the forest landing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Operations and Engineering)
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Article
Beyond Monetary Cost-Benefit Analyses: Combining Economic, Environmental and Social Analyses of Short Rotation Coppice Poplar Production in Slovakia
Forests 2022, 13(2), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020349 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 523
Abstract
Rising demand for bio-based products exerts a growing pressure on natural resources such as wood. Sustainable solutions are becoming increasingly important to meet the demand. In this study, 20-year poplar Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) plantations located in Western Slovakia are investigated with respect [...] Read more.
Rising demand for bio-based products exerts a growing pressure on natural resources such as wood. Sustainable solutions are becoming increasingly important to meet the demand. In this study, 20-year poplar Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) plantations located in Western Slovakia are investigated with respect to (socio)-economic, environmental and social sustainability. The cost–benefit methodology is applied to assess the economic profitability of a switch from conventional annual crops (corn maize and winter rye) to perennial SRC. To compare economic profitability of the land management, net present value (NPV), payback time (PBT), internal rate of return (IRR) and benefit–cost ratio (BCR) are calculated. The study was enhanced by adopting the concept of regional value added to indicate the local value creation. The results for the three scenarios yield an NPV equal to 12,156 euros ha−1 for corn maize, 9763 euros ha−1 for winter rye and 2210 euros ha−1 with a PBT of 14.13 years for poplar SRC production. The regional value added for the corn maize scenario was estimated with 10,841 euros ha−1, the winter rye with 7973 euros ha−1 and the poplar SRC with 1802 euros ha−1. To appraise non-monetized social values, semi-structured interviews (N = 4) were conducted among experts familiar with SRC management in Eastern Europe. Non-monetary benefits for the stakeholder groups society, farmers or landowners and the industry were identified in terms of land fragmentation, carbon sequestration and an increase in biodiversity within the plantations, farm diversification and higher independency from wood markets. The relatively poor image of SRC, farmers or landowners having concerns about being tied on long-term contracts and legal restrictions may become obstacles in the establishment of SRC. For estimating the capability of carbon sequestration in SRC plantations the RothC model was utilized, resulting in the potential soil organic carbon (SOC) average increase of 29% during the 20 years. However, a transition in land use patterns must involve thorough considerations of all three pillars of sustainability to ensure long-term viability of the establishment. Full article
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Article
Secondary Succession in the Tropical Lowland Rainforest Reduced the Stochasticity of Soil Bacterial Communities through the Stability of Plant Communities
Forests 2022, 13(2), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020348 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 435
Abstract
The effects of natural succession on plant and soil bacterial communities were previously established, but changes in plant and soil bacterial communities and their response to soil properties are not well characterized in different stages of secondary forest succession, especially in tropical regions [...] Read more.
The effects of natural succession on plant and soil bacterial communities were previously established, but changes in plant and soil bacterial communities and their response to soil properties are not well characterized in different stages of secondary forest succession, especially in tropical regions with endemic plant species. We investigated the dynamics of plant communities, soil properties and the structure of soil bacterial communities at sites representing 33 (early successional stage), 60 (early-mid successional stage) and 73 (mid successional stage) years of secondary succession in the tropical lowland rainforest of Hainan, China, by using16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing. From the perspective of plant composition, the number of families, genera and species were increasing along with the progress of succession. Additionally, the changes in the ranking of important values along with the progress of the forest succession were consistent with the niche width calculated by the previous stage of the plant community. The results of niche overlap, Pearson’s correlation and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients and significance indicated that in the early stage of succession, tree species did not fully utilize environmental resources. Then, as time went by, the number of negative correlations of plants in the early-mid stage was more than that in the mid stage of succession. Significant differences were found in the species richness of soil microorganisms among the three successional stages. Nutrient contents in early successional stage rainforests were less abundant than in early-mid and mid forest soils. The influence of soil nutrient concentration, particularly N and P content, on soil bacterial composition at the phylum level was larger in the early-mid stage than in the mid stage. The stochasticity of the soil bacterial community at the early successional stage of the rainforest was significantly higher than that at mid stage. Overall, as the diversity of plant communities increased, the competition decreased, the soil nutrient content changed and the stochasticity of soil bacterial communities decreased as a result of forest succession. Full article
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Article
Burned Area Detection Using Multi-Sensor SAR, Optical, and Thermal Data in Mediterranean Pine Forest
Forests 2022, 13(2), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020347 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
Burned area (BA) mapping of a forest after a fire is required for its management and the determination of the impacts on ecosystems. Different remote sensing sensors and their combinations have been used due to their individual limitations for accurate BA mapping. This [...] Read more.
Burned area (BA) mapping of a forest after a fire is required for its management and the determination of the impacts on ecosystems. Different remote sensing sensors and their combinations have been used due to their individual limitations for accurate BA mapping. This study analyzes the contribution of different features derived from optical, thermal, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images to extract BA information from the Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) forest in a Mediterranean ecosystem. In addition to reflectance values of the optical images, Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) and Land Surface Temperature (LST) data are produced from both Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8 data. The backscatter of C-band Sentinel-1 and L-band ALOS-2 SAR images and the coherence feature derived from the Interferometric SAR technique were also used. The pixel-based random forest image classification method is applied to classify the BA detection in 24 scenarios created using these features. The results show that the L-band data provided a better contribution than C-band data and the combination of features created from Landsat LST, NBR, and coherence of L-band ALOS-2 achieved the highest accuracy, with an overall accuracy of 96% and a Kappa coefficient of 92.62%. Full article
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Article
Research on the Temporal and Spatial Distributions of Standing Wood Carbon Storage Based on Remote Sensing Images and Local Models
Forests 2022, 13(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020346 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Background and Objectives: It is important to understand the temporal and spatial distributions of standing wood carbon storage in forests to maintain ecological balance and forest dynamics. Such information can provide technical and data support for promoting ecological construction, formulating different afforestation policies, [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: It is important to understand the temporal and spatial distributions of standing wood carbon storage in forests to maintain ecological balance and forest dynamics. Such information can provide technical and data support for promoting ecological construction, formulating different afforestation policies, and implementing forest management strategies. Long-term series of Landsat 5 (Thematic Mapper, TM) and Landsat 8 (Operational Land Imager, OLI) remote sensing images and digital elevation models (DEM), as well as multiphase survey data, provide new opportunities for research on the temporal and spatial distributions of standing wood carbon storage in forests. Methods: The extracted remote sensing factors, terrain factors, and forest stand factors were analyzed with stepwise regression in relation to standing wood carbon storage to identify significant influential factors, build a global ordinary least squares (OLS) model and a linear mixed model (LMM), and construct a local geographically weighted regression (GWR), multiscale geographically weighted regression model (MGWR), temporally weighted regression (TWR), and geographically and temporally weighted regression (GTWR). Model evaluation indicators were used to calculate residual Moran’s I values, and the optimal model was selected to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of standing wood carbon storage in the Liangshui Nature Reserve. Results: Remote sensing factors, topographic factors (Slope), and stand factors (Age and DBH) were significantly correlated with standing wood carbon storage, and the constructed global models exhibited fitting effects inferior to those of the established local models. LMM is also used as a global model to add random effects on the basis of OLS, and R2 is increased to 0.52 compared with OLS. The local models based on geographically weighted regression, namely, GWR, MGWR, TWR, and GTWR, all have good performance. Compared with OLS, the R2 is increased to 0.572, 0.589, 0.643, and 0.734, and the fitting effect of GTWR is the best. GTWR can overcome spatial autocorrelation and temporal autocorrelation problems, with a higher R2 (0.734) and a more ideal model residual than other models. This study develops a model for carbon storage (CS) considering various influential factors in the Liangshui area and provides a possible solution for the estimation of long-term carbon storage distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Estimation and Carbon Stocks in Forest Ecosystems)
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Article
Spatial Distribution and Regulating Factors of Soil Nutrient Stocks in Afforested Dump of Pingshuo Opencast Coalmine, China
Forests 2022, 13(2), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020345 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 375
Abstract
Determining the regulating factors of soil nutrient variations can guide the implementation of land reclamation measures in opencast coalmine regions. In this study, 132 soil samples were collected at 22 sample sites in the South Dump of Pingshuo opencast coalmine, and soil physicochemical [...] Read more.
Determining the regulating factors of soil nutrient variations can guide the implementation of land reclamation measures in opencast coalmine regions. In this study, 132 soil samples were collected at 22 sample sites in the South Dump of Pingshuo opencast coalmine, and soil physicochemical properties were separately measured to obtain the related soil information. Geostatistical analyses were employed to analyze the spatial distribution patterns of soil organic carbon stocks (SOCD), total nitrogen stocks (TND), available phosphorus stocks (APD), and available potassium stocks (AKD) at 0–60 cm. The results showed that the spatial distributions of these soil nutrient stocks were characterized by moderate (TND) to strong (SOCD, APD, and AKD) spatial dependence. Meanwhile, the values of SOCD (16.4–60.1 Mg ha−1) and TND (1.9–15.5 Mg ha−1) were much higher than those of APD (0.022–0.095 Mg ha−1) and AKD (0.31–1.40 Mg ha−1). The statistical analyses indicated that the influence of afforestation on SOCD, TND, APD, and AKD was not significant, and the dynamic variations of soil nutrient contents were mainly regulated by soil pH in the South Dump. The findings of this study can provide some scientific guidance for soil nutrient management in the opencast coalmine regions of similar ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Secondary Succession)
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Article
Microsatellite Analysis Revealing High Genetic Diversity of the Chestnut Blight Fungus in South Tyrol (Northern Italy)
Forests 2022, 13(2), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020344 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Cryphonectria parasitica, which causes chestnut blight, is one of the most important pathogens of forest trees. In Europe, mycovirus-mediated biocontrol is the most efficient method to control the disease but can be impeded by the lack of information about the population structure [...] Read more.
Cryphonectria parasitica, which causes chestnut blight, is one of the most important pathogens of forest trees. In Europe, mycovirus-mediated biocontrol is the most efficient method to control the disease but can be impeded by the lack of information about the population structure of the fungus within a region. In particular, sexual reproduction and the new introduction of the pathogen can complicate biocontrol strategies. For this reason, this study aimed to determine the population structure of C. parasitica, which causes chestnut blight, in the northern Italian region of South Tyrol, using eleven multilocus microsatellite markers. Fifty-one haplotypes were found across South Tyrol, belonging to three divergent clusters. Recombinant genotypes demonstrated that sexual reproduction occurs across the different clusters. The most dominant genotypes in the region were also the most dominant in neighboring areas, such as Switzerland, northern Italy and France. All of the clusters from South Tyrol were related to the Italian genotype pool and are thought to have been introduced from northern Italian and other European populations due to naturally occurring gene flow or human-mediated introduction. At least three separate introduction events of C. parasitica might have happened in South Tyrol that could be separated by time. This study demonstrated a high genetic diversity of C. parasitica in South Tyrol and helped to shed light on the sexual reproduction and introduction events in the local populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Health)
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Article
A Novel Method for Calculating Stand Structural Diversity Based on the Relationship of Adjacent Trees
Forests 2022, 13(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020343 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Understanding the diversity and complexity of stand structure is important for managing the biodiversity of forest ecosystem, and stand structural diversity is essential for evaluating forest management activities. Based on the relationship of adjacent trees, a quantitative method of stand structure diversity is [...] Read more.
Understanding the diversity and complexity of stand structure is important for managing the biodiversity of forest ecosystem, and stand structural diversity is essential for evaluating forest management activities. Based on the relationship of adjacent trees, a quantitative method of stand structure diversity is proposed to express the heterogeneity of stand structure in tree species, distribution pattern, species separation and size differentiation. In this study, we defined the diversity of structural unit types and derived a new index of forest structural diversity (SD) employing the additivity principle of the Shannon–Weiner index. The efficiency of the index was verified by applying the new measure to sixteen field survey samples at different locations. The mountain rainforest in Hainan had the highest forest structural diversity, followed by broad-leaved Korean pine forests in Jiaohe (2), Jiaohe (1) and an oak-broadleaved mixed natural forest at Xiaolongshan (2). The SD values of plantations and pure natural forest were lower. The simulated data of different thinning methods and the intensity of broad-leaved Korean pine forests show that the new measure can reflect forest management changes on stand structure diversity. The value of SD compared with no treatments and the differences were greater as thinning intensity increased. The SD index provides minimum and maximum values for different structural unit types in forests to achieve a unified comparative basis for calculating forest structure diversity. It has the characteristics of the general diversity index and can well express the diversity of tree species, distribution pattern and size differentiation simultaneously. The SD index can not only calculate the structural diversity of mixed species forests but can also be used to calculate the structural diversity of pure forests. It can also be used to evaluate the change in stand structure diversity after management interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Risk Prediction and Variable Analysis of Pine Wilt Disease by a Maximum Entropy Model
Forests 2022, 13(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020342 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Pine wilt disease (PWD) has caused a huge damage to pine forests. PWD is mainly transmitted by jumping diffusion, affected by insect vectors and human activities. Since the results of climate change, pine wood nematode (PWN—Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) has begun invading the [...] Read more.
Pine wilt disease (PWD) has caused a huge damage to pine forests. PWD is mainly transmitted by jumping diffusion, affected by insect vectors and human activities. Since the results of climate change, pine wood nematode (PWN—Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) has begun invading the temperate zones and higher elevation area. In this situation, predicting the distribution of PWD is an important part of the prevention and control of the epidemic situation. The research established the Maxent model to conduct a multi-angle, fine-scale prediction on the risk distribution of PWD. We adjusted two parameters, regularization multiplier (RM) and feature combination (FC), to optimize the model. Influence factors were selected and divided into natural, landscape, and human variables, according to the physical characteristics and spread rules of PWD. The middle-suitability regions and high-suitability regions are distributed in a Y-shape, and divided the study area into three parts. The high-suitability areas are concentrated in the region with high temperature, low elevation, and intensive precipitation. Among the selected variables, natural factors still play the most important role in the distribution of the disease, and human factors and landscape factors are also worked well. The permutation importance of factors is different due to differences in climate and other conditions in different regions. The multi-angle, fine-scale model can help provide useful information for effective control and tactical management of PWD. Full article
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Article
Diversity of Endophytes in the Botryosphaeriaceae Differs on Anacardiaceae in Disturbed and Undisturbed Ecosystems in South Africa
Forests 2022, 13(2), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020341 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 472
Abstract
Botryosphaeriaceae represents a diverse family of fungi with a cosmopolitan distribution and a wide host range. We studied species diversity and overlap of Botryosphaeriaceae on selected tree species of Anacardiaceae in disturbed (farming or forestry) and undisturbed (isolated and/or protected) ecosystems in the [...] Read more.
Botryosphaeriaceae represents a diverse family of fungi with a cosmopolitan distribution and a wide host range. We studied species diversity and overlap of Botryosphaeriaceae on selected tree species of Anacardiaceae in disturbed (farming or forestry) and undisturbed (isolated and/or protected) ecosystems in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa. The disturbed sites resided at Tshikundamalema and Tshipise in Limpopo and the undisturbed sites at Nwanedi and the Mapungubwe National Park in Limpopo and the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga. Asymptomatic branches were collected from Mangifera indica, Sclerocarya birrea and Lannea schweinfurthii trees in 2017 and 2018. Eleven species were identified using a multi-gene sequencing approach, including Diplodia allocellula, Dothiorella brevicollis, Do. dulcispinae, Do. viticola, Lasiodiplodia crassispora, L. exigua, L. gonubiensis, L. mahajangana, Neofusicoccum parvum, Oblongocollomyces sp. 1 and Oblongocollomyces sp. 2. Ten of the 11 species were identified in undisturbed ecosystems (eight species being unique), while only three species were identified in disturbed ecosystems (one species being unique). Two species were generalists on trees in disturbed and undisturbed ecosystems. Lasiodiplodia mahajangana was the most dominant species as it occurred on the three tree species of Anacardiaceae. Isolates of N. parvum occurred on both S. birrea (a native species) and M. indica (a non-native species) that occurred adjacent to each other in disturbed ecosystems, confirming the ability of this invasive pathogen to cross-infect native and non-native hosts and its abundance in human-disturbed environments. The findings from this study confirm the lack of host specificity for most species of Botryosphaeriaceae. The results also indicate that disturbance through human activity, such as clear-cutting, selective cutting and land-use changes, negatively influences the diversity of the Botryosphaeriaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Health)
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Article
Productivity-Based Land Suitability and Management Sensitivity Analysis: The Eucalyptus E. urophylla × E. grandis Case
Forests 2022, 13(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020340 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 451
Abstract
Eucalyptus plantations are productive and short rotation forests prevalent in tropical areas that experience fast expansion and face controversies in ecological issues. In this study, we perform a systematic analysis of factors influencing eucalyptus growth through plot records from the National Forest Inventories [...] Read more.
Eucalyptus plantations are productive and short rotation forests prevalent in tropical areas that experience fast expansion and face controversies in ecological issues. In this study, we perform a systematic analysis of factors influencing eucalyptus growth through plot records from the National Forest Inventories and satellite images. We find primary restricting factors for eucalyptus growth via machine learning algorithms with random forests and accumulated local effects plots, as conventional forest growth models are inadequate to calculate the causal effect with the large number of environmental and socioeconomic factors. As a result, despite common belief that temperature affects eucalyptus growth the most, we find that precipitation is the most evident restricting factor for eucalyptus growth. We then identify and rank key factors that affect timber growth, such as tree density, rotation period, and wood ownership. Finally, we suggest optimal management and planting strategies for local farmers and policymakers to facilitate eucalyptus growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Modeling and Remote Sensing)
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Article
Long-Term Forest Conversion Affects Soil Stability and Humic Substances in Aggregate Fractions in Subtropical China
Forests 2022, 13(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020339 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Soil aggregates are the basic structural components of soil, which are important factors that can predict erosion resistance. However, few researchers have investigated the effects of forest conversion on the stability of soil aggregates, particularly in subtropical forests. In this study, soils from [...] Read more.
Soil aggregates are the basic structural components of soil, which are important factors that can predict erosion resistance. However, few researchers have investigated the effects of forest conversion on the stability of soil aggregates, particularly in subtropical forests. In this study, soils from various depths (0 to 30 cm) were collected from four forest types (transformed from broadleaved forests (BMF) to combined coniferous broadleaved (CBMF), Chinese fir (FF), and bamboo forests (BF)) to determine the impacts of forest conversion on the physical and chemical properties of soil, water-stable soil aggregates, and aggregate-associated humic substances. The results showed that forest conversion had no effects on the soil’s physical properties, or the humic substances in bulk soil, but had significant effects on soil aggregates. In addition, the conversion of broadleaved forest to Chinese fir forest increased the soil stability, and to bamboo forest, decreased the soil stability. Finally, the soil’s physicochemical properties were closely related to aggregate-associated humic substances. In summary, specific forest management measures should be applied to strengthen the positive impacts and reduce the negative impacts associated with forest conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Soil)
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Article
Population Genetics and Development of a Core Collection from Elite Germplasms of Xanthoceras sorbifolium Based on Genome-Wide SNPs
by and
Forests 2022, 13(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020338 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Xanthoceras sorbifolium is one of the most important species of woody oil. In this study, whole genome re-sequencing of 119 X. sorbifolium germplasms was conducted and, after filtering, 105,685,557 high-quality SNPs were identified, which were used to perform population genetics and core collection [...] Read more.
Xanthoceras sorbifolium is one of the most important species of woody oil. In this study, whole genome re-sequencing of 119 X. sorbifolium germplasms was conducted and, after filtering, 105,685,557 high-quality SNPs were identified, which were used to perform population genetics and core collection development analyses. The results from the phylogenetic, population structure, and principal component analyses showed a high level of agreement, with 119 germplasms being classified into three main groups. The germplasms were not completely classified based on their geographical origins and flower colors; furthermore, the genetic backgrounds of these germplasms were complex and diverse. The average polymorphsim information content (PIC) values for the three inferred groups clustered by structure analysis and the six classified color groups were 0.2445 and 0.2628, respectively, indicating a low to medium informative degree of genetic diversity. Moreover, a core collection containing 29.4% (35) out of the 119 X. sorbifolium germplasms was established. Our results revealed the genetic diversity and structure of X. sorbifolium germplasms, and the development of a core collection will be useful for the efficient improvement of breeding programs and genome-wide association studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Woody Oleiferous Plant: Past, Present and Future)
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Article
Variation of Morphological Traits and Quality Indices of Micropropagated Melia volkensii Gürke Clones before Field Planting
Forests 2022, 13(2), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020337 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
The quality of acclimatized in vitro cultivated plants is essential to ensure good survival and growth after planting in field conditions. After two months of acclimatization, this study revealed a significant variation in survival rate, shoot characteristics, root traits, and biomass features between [...] Read more.
The quality of acclimatized in vitro cultivated plants is essential to ensure good survival and growth after planting in field conditions. After two months of acclimatization, this study revealed a significant variation in survival rate, shoot characteristics, root traits, and biomass features between 13 clones of Melia volkensii Gürke. A number of quality indices such as the Dickson Quality Index (DQI), shoot dry weight: root dry weight ratio (S:R), and sturdiness quotient (SQ) also showed a large variation. The survival rate was genotype-dependent, with an average of 85%. Extreme genotypes were tall, had long internodes, a lot of leaves, and a large leaf area. At the other side of the spectrum, there were small clones with short internodes and a reduced number of leaves and leaf areas. The high S:R values (>2) of the evaluated clones indicate an imbalance between the shoot and root system, negatively influencing the quality of the in vitro produced M. volkensii plants. The SQ for all clones was below the threshold value of 6, implying a good and expected survival rate. This study illustrates that some clones might systematically score better for SQ, S:R, plant volume, and DQI after acclimatization and that these factors could form the basis for selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Biotechnology Techniques on Tree Species)
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Article
A Tree Ring Proxy Evaluation of Declining Causes in Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold in Northeastern Romania
Forests 2022, 13(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020336 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Drought-induced dieback has been extensively studied in various forests habitats. We used a retrospective tree ring width (TRW), basal area increment (BAI), oxygen isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose (δ18OTR) and carbon isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose (δ [...] Read more.
Drought-induced dieback has been extensively studied in various forests habitats. We used a retrospective tree ring width (TRW), basal area increment (BAI), oxygen isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose (δ18OTR) and carbon isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose (δ13CTR) to assess causes in declining Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra J.F. Arnold. The climate data analysis indicates a significant increased trend occurred after 1980 in minimum, mean and maximum temperature and a reduced amount of precipitation compared to the 1920–1980-time scale. According to the Palmer Drought Severity Index, we found two extreme drought years (1946 and 2000) and three years with severe drought (1990, 2003 and 2012). One-way ANOVA indicated no significant difference between P. nigra and P sylvestris tree ring width, basal area increment, but a considerable difference between δ13CTR and δ18OTR. Basal area increment evaluated the climate-growth relationship most accurately, comparing to δ18OTR and δ13CTR, which explained the influences of environmental factors in tree rings formation. The δ13CTR was mainly negatively correlated with high temperatures from April-August current growing seasons. The negative correlation between δ13CTR and NDVI indices (June, August) shows a decreased carbon uptake induced by drought from summer to early autumn. The low δ18OTR signal was associated with a complex of factors, including the strong influence of heavy precipitation occurring in the growing season and a weak reaction of declined trees to resources. Species-specific responses to drought in 1990, 2003 and 2012 indicated P. sylvestris as more sensitive to drought whit higher demand for water supply in the optimal compared with P. nigra. Weak and unstable correlations in time with increasing/decreasing values in drought periods were obtained more accurately using δ18OTR compared to δ13CTR. The species-specific resilience response to drought years showed a weak resilience and resistance in P. sylvestris occurred more evident after the 2012 event compared to less sensitive P. nigra trees. Decision-makers can use presented results to reinforce specific management plans capable of protecting and changing local compositions where is the case with species more resistant to drouth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Study of the Vertical Structures, Thermal Comfort, Negative Air Ions, and Human Physiological Stress of Forest Walking Spaces in Summer
Forests 2022, 13(2), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020335 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Forest walking is a popular, healthy, and light outdoor activity. The potential comprehensive relationships between the vertical structures, thermal comfort, negative air ions (NAI), and human physiological stress in forest walking spaces have not been determined. We performed an experiment in the Baishuihe [...] Read more.
Forest walking is a popular, healthy, and light outdoor activity. The potential comprehensive relationships between the vertical structures, thermal comfort, negative air ions (NAI), and human physiological stress in forest walking spaces have not been determined. We performed an experiment in the Baishuihe National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China. Thirty-two college students recruited as subjects completed a forest walk (approximately one kilometer) on the same trail divided into three vertical structure type subsections, namely: A (dense herb and shrub layers with a sparse tree layer), B (dense tree, herb and shrub layers), and C (dense tree and herb layers with a sparse shrub layer). When the subjects passed preset environmental measurement points, staff measured climatic indexes (air temperature, relative humidity, wind velocity, surface temperature and global radiation) and NAI levels, and these data were input into the Rayman model to form a comprehensive thermal comfort index, the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET). PET and NAI differences and dynamic data among the subsections were analyzed. The subjects’ brain waves, heart rates (HRs), and walking speed (S) were digitally recorded. We selected brain wave θ, γ and β-high/α rates, neuroemotional indexes (stress and relaxation) and HR as physiological indicators, and S as an auxiliary indicator. The correlations between PET and NAI with physiological and auxiliary indexes were analyzed. Forest type C showed the lowest PETs and highest NAIs along with the most stable dynamic changes. PET was negatively correlated with HR and positively correlated with γ (12 channels). NAI was positively correlated with S and relaxation and negatively correlated with γ (two channels) and the β-high/α ratio (five channels). These comprehensive relationships suggest that dense tree, sparse shrub, and high-coverage herb layers combined with optimal temporal conditions (before noon or after a light rain) form the best thermal comfort and NAI conditions conducive to reducing human physiological pressures during summer daytime forest walking. These results provide theoretical references for forest walking and spatial regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
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Article
Investigating Antimicrobial Characteristics/Advantages of Australian Wood Species for Use in Food Packaging—A Feasibility Study
Forests 2022, 13(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020334 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The antimicrobial characteristics of Australian commercial timber species were studied using a direct screening method and two different microorganisms. The effectiveness of timber samples was compared with plastic and paper samples during an incubation period of 24 h at 37 °C. The initial [...] Read more.
The antimicrobial characteristics of Australian commercial timber species were studied using a direct screening method and two different microorganisms. The effectiveness of timber samples was compared with plastic and paper samples during an incubation period of 24 h at 37 °C. The initial data with E. coli and S. aureus showed no difference in performance between the plastic and paper samples and the softwood samples tested. Hardwood samples, however, showed an inhibition zone when tested with S. Aureus. The data showed similar trends of inhibition zones developed for sterilised and non-sterilised samples of spotted gum and shining gum species. The observed data showed promising antimicrobial characteristics for both veneer and solid samples of hardwood species. Further studies investigating the type of extractives, their role in antimicrobial characteristics and differences in the type of surface exposed to the microbial contamination from the point of view of timber’s anatomical properties are proposed. Full article
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Review
Lessons from Managing for the Extremes: A Case for Decentralized, Adaptive, Multipurpose Forest Management within an Ecological Framework
Forests 2022, 13(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020333 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Multipurpose and ecological forest management frameworks are being increasingly applied across the Global North on public lands. However, the discourse and practice of public forest management in much of the developing world are captured by extreme approaches of single-crop (usually timber) production and [...] Read more.
Multipurpose and ecological forest management frameworks are being increasingly applied across the Global North on public lands. However, the discourse and practice of public forest management in much of the developing world are captured by extreme approaches of single-crop (usually timber) production and strict canopy-cover protection, as exemplified by the case of Nepal. We combine insights from field research with published documents and trace the consequences of prevalent management regimes on the ecology and silviculture of Nepal’s public forests. We find that managing for either extreme of timber production or forest protection can degrade forest ecosystems and affect their capacity to address the increasing number of demands placed on them. A history of narrow management outlooks has erased indigenous silvicultural practices and discouraged the development of novel silvicultural solutions to address today’s environmental concerns. Government initiatives advancing singular objectives, such as Nepal’s Scientific Forest Management program, often crumble under political resistance. Forest users in Nepal are widely interested in generating diverse benefits from their forests, including non-commercial products and services, suggesting a mandate for multipurpose management. We present a decentralized adaptive modality of multipurpose management featuring a silviculture that more closely matches the ecology of forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Genome Wide Association Study Identifies Candidate Genes Related to the Earlywood Tracheid Properties in Picea crassifolia Kom.
Forests 2022, 13(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020332 - 18 Feb 2022
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Picea crassifolia Kom. is one of the timber and ecological conifers in China and its wood tracheid traits directly affect wood formation and adaptability under harsh environment. Molecular studies on P. crassifolia remain inadequate because relatively few genes have been associated with these [...] Read more.
Picea crassifolia Kom. is one of the timber and ecological conifers in China and its wood tracheid traits directly affect wood formation and adaptability under harsh environment. Molecular studies on P. crassifolia remain inadequate because relatively few genes have been associated with these traits. To identify markers and candidate genes that can potentially be used for genetic improvement of wood tracheid traits, we examined 106 clones of P. crassifolia, and investigated phenotypic data for 14 wood tracheid traits before specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) was employed to perform a genome wide association study (GWAS). Subsequently, the results were used to screen single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci and candidate genes that exhibited a significant correlation with the studied traits. We developed 4,058,883 SLAF-tags and 12,275,765 SNP loci, and our analyses identified a total of 96 SNP loci that showed significant correlations with three earlywood tracheid traits using a mixed linear model (MLM). Next, candidate genes were screened in the 100 kb zone (50 kb upstream, 50 kb downstream) of each of the SNP loci, whereby 67 candidate genes were obtained in earlywood tracheid traits, including 34 genes of known function and 33 genes of unknown function. We provide the most significant SNP for each trait-locus combination and candidate genes occurring within the GWAS hits. These resources provide a foundation for the development of markers that could be used in wood traits improvement and candidate genes for the development of earlywood tracheid in P. crassifolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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