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Forests, Volume 5, Issue 10 (October 2014) , Pages 2400-2593

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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Soil Productivity in Christmas Tree Farms of Oregon and Washington: A Comparative Analysis between First- and Multi-Rotation Plantations
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2581-2593; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102581
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
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Abstract
Christmas tree production removes organic matter and associated nutrients from a site and can change soil physical properties, reduce mycorrhizal populations, and result in pesticide over-use/accumulation. These impacts have been implicated in potential field productivity declines. Assessing Christmas tree productivity is complicated by [...] Read more.
Christmas tree production removes organic matter and associated nutrients from a site and can change soil physical properties, reduce mycorrhizal populations, and result in pesticide over-use/accumulation. These impacts have been implicated in potential field productivity declines. Assessing Christmas tree productivity is complicated by genetics, management, and market forces. We approached the perceived or possible productivity decline by examining soil properties on 22 pairs of sites. Each pair was comprised of an early rotation and late rotation plot with 1 and 3 or more rotations of Christmas trees, respectively. All sites were located on commercial Christmas tree plantations from the major production areas in Washington and Oregon. Chemical properties assessed to 45cm included pH, total C and N, and extractable P, K, Ca, and Mg. Soil physical properties assessed included aggregate stability and soil resistance. In general, we found little impact on soil resources that would impact long term production of Christmas trees. These impacts may have been mitigated by farmers following extension service recommendations. Nitrogen, K, and Ca appeared to be primarily affected by harvesting, but replacement by fertilizer application was probably adequate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Pattern of Decomposition and N, P, and C Dynamics in Leaf litter in a Mongolian Oak Forest and a Korean Pine Plantation
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2561-2580; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102561
Received: 22 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2359 | PDF Full-text (534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Distinct seasons and diverse tree species characterize temperate deciduous forests in NE Asia, but large areas of deciduous forests have been converted to conifer plantations. This study was conducted to understand the effects of seasons and tree species on leaf litter decomposition in [...] Read more.
Distinct seasons and diverse tree species characterize temperate deciduous forests in NE Asia, but large areas of deciduous forests have been converted to conifer plantations. This study was conducted to understand the effects of seasons and tree species on leaf litter decomposition in a temperate forest. Using the litterbag method, the decomposition rate and nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dynamics of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), and their mixed leaf litter were compared for 24 months in a Mongolian oak stand, an adjacent Korean pine plantation, and a Mongolian oak—Korean pine mixed stand. The decomposition rates of all the leaf litter types followed a pattern of distinct seasonal changes: most leaf litter decomposition occurred during the summer. Tree species was less influential on the leaf litter decomposition. The decomposition rates among different leaf litter types within the same stand were not significantly different, indicating no mixed litter effect. The immobilization of leaf litter N and P lasted for 14 months. Mongolian oak leaf litter and Korean pine leaf litter showed different N and P contents and dynamics during the decomposition, and soil P2O5 was highest in the Korean pine plantation, suggesting effects of plantation on soil nutrient budget. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Deforestation and Climate Variability on Terrestrial Evapotranspiration in Subarctic China
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2542-2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102542
Received: 26 June 2014 / Revised: 6 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3138 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although deforestation affects hydrological and climatic variables over tropical regions, its actual contributions to changes in evapotranspiration (ET) over subarctic China remain unknown. To establish a quantitative relationship between deforestation and terrestrial ET variations, we estimated ET using a semi-empirical Penman (SEMI-PM) algorithm [...] Read more.
Although deforestation affects hydrological and climatic variables over tropical regions, its actual contributions to changes in evapotranspiration (ET) over subarctic China remain unknown. To establish a quantitative relationship between deforestation and terrestrial ET variations, we estimated ET using a semi-empirical Penman (SEMI-PM) algorithm driven by meteorological and satellite data at both local and regional scales. The results indicate that the estimated ET can be used to analyse the observed inter-annual variations. There is a statistically significant positive relationship between local-scale forest cover changes (∆F) and annual ET variations (∆ET) of the following form: ∆ET = 0.0377∆F – 2.11 (R2 = 0.43, p < 0.05). This relationship may be due to deforestation-induced increases in surface albedo and a reduction in the fractional vegetation cover (FVC). However, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), rather than deforestation, dominates the multi-decadal ET variability due to regional-scale wind speed changes, but the exact effects of deforestation and ENSO on ET are challenging to quantify. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Annual Above-Ground Biomass Production of Various Species on Sites in Sweden on the Basis of Individual Climate and Productivity Values
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2521-2541; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102521
Received: 9 July 2014 / Revised: 6 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2426 | PDF Full-text (989 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The literature contains a large number of bioclimate, climate and biometric models for estimating the production of different species or stands under specific conditions on a defined site or models giving the distribution of a single species. Depending on the model used, the [...] Read more.
The literature contains a large number of bioclimate, climate and biometric models for estimating the production of different species or stands under specific conditions on a defined site or models giving the distribution of a single species. Depending on the model used, the amount of input data required varies considerably and often involves a large investment in time and money. The purpose of this study was to create a model to estimate the annual above-ground biomass production of various species from site conditions defined by mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation. For this approach, the Miami model of Lieth was used as a base model with some modifications. This first version of the modified model was restricted to sites in Sweden, where changes in the soil and groundwater level were relatively small, and where the growth of land vegetation was mostly dependent on temperature. A validation of this model has shown that it seems possible to use the Miami model to estimate the annual above-ground biomass production of various species, and that it was possible to compare the annual above-ground biomass production of different species on one site, as well as the annual above-ground biomass production of different species on different sites using the modeled data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stem Biomass Production of Paulownia elongata × P. fortunei under Low Irrigation in a Semi-Arid Environment
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2505-2520; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102505
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3191 | PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In semi-arid regions, afforestation with fast-growing species cultured with low irrigation can be an effective approach for environmental protection. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the stem biomass production of Paulownia in a semi-arid climate and clay soils under contrasting low-irrigation and fertilization [...] Read more.
In semi-arid regions, afforestation with fast-growing species cultured with low irrigation can be an effective approach for environmental protection. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the stem biomass production of Paulownia in a semi-arid climate and clay soils under contrasting low-irrigation and fertilization treatments. The stem biomass at the stand level was estimated by applying allometric equations fitted in sample resprouts and inventory data. The results show that biomass production improved when either irrigation or fertilizer was added, but the combination of a higher dose of irrigation and fertilization did not lead to the highest biomass production; thus water availability was the main factor controlling biomass production. Under the higher dose of irrigation, the absence of a fertilizer effect would be due in part to the fertile soil, which could supply sufficient nutrients for Paulownia growth at the higher level of soil moisture. The stem biomass estimated ranged from 2.14 to 4.50 t×ha−1 (lower irrigation dose without fertilization, and higher irrigation with fertilization). The greater production was similar to other studies in the Mediterranean area receiving more irrigation. Thus, this study permitted us to understand the potential of Paulownia to provide biomass in semi-arid environments with low irrigation due to water use restrictions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microclimate and Modeled Fire Behavior Differ Between Adjacent Forest Types in Northern Portugal
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2490-2504; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102490
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 October 2014 / Published: 17 October 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3086 | PDF Full-text (1145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fire severity varies with forest composition and structure, reflecting micrometeorology and the fuel complex, but their respective influences are difficult to untangle from observation alone. We quantify the differences in fire weather between different forest types and the resulting differences in modeled fire [...] Read more.
Fire severity varies with forest composition and structure, reflecting micrometeorology and the fuel complex, but their respective influences are difficult to untangle from observation alone. We quantify the differences in fire weather between different forest types and the resulting differences in modeled fire behavior. Collection of in-stand weather data proceeded during two summer periods in three adjacent stands in northern Portugal, respectively Pinus pinaster (PP), Betula alba (BA), and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (CL). Air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed varied respectively as CL < PP < BA, PP < CL < BA, and CL < BA < PP. Differences between PP and the other types were greatest during the warmest and driest hours of the day in a sequence of 10 days with high fire danger. Estimates of daytime moisture content of fine dead fuels and fire behavior characteristics for this period, respectively, from Behave and BehavePlus, indicate a CL < BA < PP gradient in fire potential. High stand density in CL and BA ensured lower wind speed and higher fuel moisture content than in PP, limiting the likelihood of an extreme fire environment. However, regression tree analysis revealed that the fire behavior distinction between the three forest types was primarily a function of the surface fuel complex, and more so during extreme fire weather conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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Open AccessArticle Combining Satellite Data and Community-Based Observations for Forest Monitoring
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2464-2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102464
Received: 5 May 2014 / Revised: 20 September 2014 / Accepted: 6 October 2014 / Published: 14 October 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5232 | PDF Full-text (28246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) framework, the involvement of local communities in national forest monitoring activities has the potential to enhance monitoring efficiency at lower costs while simultaneously promoting transparency and better forest management. We assessed the consistency of [...] Read more.
Within the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) framework, the involvement of local communities in national forest monitoring activities has the potential to enhance monitoring efficiency at lower costs while simultaneously promoting transparency and better forest management. We assessed the consistency of forest monitoring data (mostly activity data related to forest change) collected by local experts in the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. Professional ground measurements and high resolution satellite images were used as validation data to assess over 700 forest change observations collected by the local experts. Furthermore, we examined the complementary use of local datasets and remote sensing by assessing spatial, temporal and thematic data quality factors. Based on this complementarity, we propose a framework to integrate local expert monitoring data with satellite-based monitoring data into a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in support of REDD+ Measuring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) and near real-time forest change monitoring. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Invasion of Winter Moth in New England: Effects of Defoliation and Site Quality on Tree Mortality
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2440-2463; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102440
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2426 | PDF Full-text (1192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Widespread and prolonged defoliation by the European winter moth, Operophtera brumata L., has occurred in forests of eastern Massachusetts for more than a decade and populations of winter moth continue to invade new areas of New England. This study characterized the forests of [...] Read more.
Widespread and prolonged defoliation by the European winter moth, Operophtera brumata L., has occurred in forests of eastern Massachusetts for more than a decade and populations of winter moth continue to invade new areas of New England. This study characterized the forests of eastern Massachusetts invaded by winter moth and related the duration of winter moth defoliation estimated using dendrochronology to observed levels of tree mortality and understory woody plant density. Quercus basal area mortality in mixed Quercus and mixed QuercusPinus strobus forests in eastern Massachusetts ranged from 0–30%; mortality of Quercus in these forests was related to site quality and the number of winter moth defoliation events. In addition, winter moth defoliation events lead to a subsequent increase in understory woody plant density. Our results indicate that winter moth defoliation has been an important disturbance in New England forests that may have lasting impacts. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Case Study Report: REDD+ Pilot Project in Community Forests in Three Watersheds of Nepal
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2425-2439; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102425
Received: 27 January 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 24 September 2014 / Published: 30 September 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3638 | PDF Full-text (1322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is an international climate policy instrument that is expected to tap into the large mitigation potential for conservation and better management of the world’s forests through financial flows from developed to developing countries. This paper [...] Read more.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is an international climate policy instrument that is expected to tap into the large mitigation potential for conservation and better management of the world’s forests through financial flows from developed to developing countries. This paper describes the results and lessons learned from a pioneering REDD+ pilot project in Nepal, which is based on a community forest management approach and which was implemented from 2009–2013 with support from NORAD’s Climate and Forest Initiative. The major focus of the project was to develop and demonstrate an innovative benefit-sharing mechanism for REDD+ incentives, as well as institutionally and socially inclusive approaches to local forest governance. The paper illustrates how community-based monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) and performance-based payments for forest management can be implemented. The lessons on REDD+ benefit sharing from this demonstration project could provide insights to other countries which are starting to engage in REDD+, in particular in South Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Forests 2014, 5(10), 2400-2424; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102400
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2257 | PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Congo Basin forests are a prime location for implementing REDD+. National REDD+ policy processes are ongoing and many REDD+ pilot initiatives are being demonstrated. However, the level of national engagement, progress and distribution of REDD+ activities varies considerably in the different Congo [...] Read more.
The Congo Basin forests are a prime location for implementing REDD+. National REDD+ policy processes are ongoing and many REDD+ pilot initiatives are being demonstrated. However, the level of national engagement, progress and distribution of REDD+ activities varies considerably in the different Congo Basin countries. This study therefore uses a set of criteria to assess national and international policy initiatives and approaches for advancing REDD+ implementation in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), two countries where more than two thirds of the Congo Basin forests are concentrated. Our findings show that (i) both countries have shown the highest political presence at the international climate negotiations but DRC has invested more in the size of its delegation and side events; (ii) REDD+ donors, initiatives, and funding are disproportionately skewed towards DRC making it technically more advanced; (iii) the high political interest and institutional reforms in DRC favors private sector investments in REDD+ programs; and (iv) the REDD+ policy process is internally-driven in Cameroon with a strong national ownership, while it is externally-driven in DRC with weak national ownership. To advance REDD+, the government of DRC should embark on capacity building programs that ensure the transfer of REDD+ technical know-how from international to national actors while Cameroon needs to speed-up governance reforms and be more flexible in order to attract influential international REDD+ actors. This paper further provides specific recommendations. Full article
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