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Forests, Volume 5, Issue 12 (December 2014) , Pages 2947-3371

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Open AccessArticle Participatory Goal Programming in Forest Management: An Application Integrating Several Ecosystem Services
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3352-3371; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123352
Received: 10 October 2014 / Revised: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 16 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2777 | PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we propose a procedure for integrating several ecosystem services into forest management by using the well-known multi-criteria approach called goal programming. It shows how interactions with various stakeholders are essential in order to choose the goal programming model applied, as [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose a procedure for integrating several ecosystem services into forest management by using the well-known multi-criteria approach called goal programming. It shows how interactions with various stakeholders are essential in order to choose the goal programming model applied, as well as some of its basic components (variant, targets, preferential weights, etc.). This methodology has been applied to a real forest management case where five criteria have been selected: timber production, wild edible mushroom production, carbon sequestration, net present value of the underlying investment, and a criterion associated with the sustainability of forest management defined by the idea of a normal forest. Given the characteristics of some of these criteria, such as mushroom production, the model has been developed in two scenarios: one deterministic and another with a Monte Carlo analysis. The results show a considerable degree of conflict between the proposed criteria. By applying several goal programming models, different Paretian efficient solutions were obtained. In addition, some results in Monte Carlo analysis for several criteria show notable variations. This fact is especially notable for the mushroom production criterion. Finally, the proposed approach seems attractive and can be directly applied to other forest management situations. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Facilitating Oak and Hickory Regeneration in Mature Central Hardwood Forests
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3344-3351; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123344
Received: 26 November 2014 / Revised: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 19 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1908 | PDF Full-text (204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Advanced oak and hickory regeneration is often absent in mature oak-hickory forests in the Central Hardwood Region of the United States. Prescribed fire and thinning, alone and combined, are commonly prescribed silvicultural treatments that are recommended to initiate the regeneration process. This study [...] Read more.
Advanced oak and hickory regeneration is often absent in mature oak-hickory forests in the Central Hardwood Region of the United States. Prescribed fire and thinning, alone and combined, are commonly prescribed silvicultural treatments that are recommended to initiate the regeneration process. This study examined the regeneration response in three mature oak stands following four treatments: (1) thin, (2) burn, (3) thinning and burning, or (4) no treatment (control). Ten years after initial treatment, results indicate that oak and hickory seedlings had greater height and diameter in the thinning and burning treatment compared to the control and that this treatment may help facilitate desirable regeneration in mature oak-hickory forests. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Social Assessment of Forest Degradation in the “Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park”, Guinea-Bissau
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3327-3343; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123327
Received: 17 November 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 13 December 2014 / Published: 19 December 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2564 | PDF Full-text (647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
The Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park (PNTC) was established in the year 2000 with the objective of protecting the coastal forests of Northern Guinea-Bissau, which have been subject to deforestation and are at risk. Concomitantly, the need to find sustainable financial revenues to support [...] Read more.
The Cacheu Mangroves Natural Park (PNTC) was established in the year 2000 with the objective of protecting the coastal forests of Northern Guinea-Bissau, which have been subject to deforestation and are at risk. Concomitantly, the need to find sustainable financial revenues to support forest conservation motivated the development of projects that explore avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) as a potential income possibility. The 886,150 ha of forest in the PNTC include a mosaic of different villages where communities with different cultural and socio-economic habits reside. In addition to the uncontrolled expansion of subsistence agriculture with the associated shortening of fallow periods, forests may have also been subject to degradation from selective logging, fuel wood collection, and charcoal production. To contribute to a forest degradation baseline forest uses for household fuel consumption (wood and charcoal) were surveyed using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The data were collected from a representative sample of circa 200 households within a 2 km buffer of the PNTC. These data are analyzed and the results are discussed according to a scenario of ethnic diversity, i.e., a diversity of approaches relating to forest conservation. Even though the results indicate that fuel wood is the main (and almost sole) source of energy for cooking, they also show that the average daily fuel consumption per capita (1.21 kg) is well below the sub-Saharan average and that fuel is obtained from downed dead wood or dead trees. Therefore, it is concluded that reported forest degradation in PNTC cannot be attributed to fuel wood consumption by local populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating CBM into Land-Use Based Mitigation Actions Implemented by Local Communities
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3295-3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123295
Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2300 | PDF Full-text (456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2009, the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognized the need to engage communities and indigenous groups into the systems to monitor, report and verify the results of REDD+. Since then, many countries have started [...] Read more.
In 2009, the conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change recognized the need to engage communities and indigenous groups into the systems to monitor, report and verify the results of REDD+. Since then, many countries have started to prepare for REDD+ implementation. This article reviews early experiences under development in 11 projects financed by the Alliance Mexico REDD+ located in four Early Action Areas to identify the potential integration of Community Based Monitoring (CBM). The evaluation of the projects is made based on a multi-criteria analysis which considers the potential to produce information relevant for national monitoring systems and the prospects for sustained monitoring practices over time. Results indicate there are challenges to harmonizing monitoring practices and protocols between projects since activities proposed differ greatly from one project to another. Technical specifications for integrating local data into national systems are thus required. The results of these projects can help to identify best practices for planning and implementing REDD+. Findings indicate that in general, resources and capacities to gather, analyse and report information as part of CBM systems are in place in the projects, but usually these reside with non-local experts (i.e., NGOs and Academia); however, there are notable examples where these capacities reside in the communities. If national forest monitoring systems are geared to include information gathered through locally-driven processes REDD+ should promote activities that produce local benefits, but countries would need to build local capacities for managing and monitoring natural resources and would also need to create agreements for sharing and using local data. Otherwise, national systems may need to rely on monitoring practices external to communities, which depend on the continued availability of external financial resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tree Root System Characterization and Volume Estimation by Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Quantitative Structure Modeling
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3274-3294; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123274
Received: 30 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6338 | PDF Full-text (2583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The accurate characterization of three-dimensional (3D) root architecture, volume, and biomass is important for a wide variety of applications in forest ecology and to better understand tree and soil stability. Technological advancements have led to increasingly more digitized and automated procedures, which have [...] Read more.
The accurate characterization of three-dimensional (3D) root architecture, volume, and biomass is important for a wide variety of applications in forest ecology and to better understand tree and soil stability. Technological advancements have led to increasingly more digitized and automated procedures, which have been used to more accurately and quickly describe the 3D structure of root systems. Terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) have successfully been used to describe aboveground structures of individual trees and stand structure, but have only recently been applied to the 3D characterization of whole root systems. In this study, 13 recently harvested Norway spruce root systems were mechanically pulled from the soil, cleaned, and their volumes were measured by displacement. The root systems were suspended, scanned with TLS from three different angles, and the root surfaces from the co-registered point clouds were modeled with the 3D Quantitative Structure Model to determine root architecture and volume. The modeling procedure facilitated the rapid derivation of root volume, diameters, break point diameters, linear root length, cumulative percentages, and root fraction counts. The modeled root systems underestimated root system volume by 4.4%. The modeling procedure is widely applicable and easily adapted to derive other important topological and volumetric root variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Processes Underlying 50 Years of Local Forest-Cover Change in Yunnan, China
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3257-3273; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123257
Received: 25 September 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2411 | PDF Full-text (1021 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recognition of the importance of forests for local livelihoods, biodiversity and the climate system has spurred a growing interest in understanding the factors that drive forest-cover change. Forest transitions, the change from net deforestation to net reforestation, may follow different pathways depending on [...] Read more.
Recognition of the importance of forests for local livelihoods, biodiversity and the climate system has spurred a growing interest in understanding the factors that drive forest-cover change. Forest transitions, the change from net deforestation to net reforestation, may follow different pathways depending on a complex interplay of driving forces. However, most studies on forest transitions focus on the national level rather than the local level. Here, case studies from 10 villages in Yunnan, China, are used to clarify the complex interactions among various pathways of forest transitions, derive insights on the underlying drivers that shaped the forest transitions, and determine the importance of changes in drivers over time. The results demonstrate that China’s recent forest transition was caused by a range of interrelated pathways that were mediated by local circumstances. The degradation of forest ecosystem services caused by rampant deforestation and forest degradation created a scarcity of forest products and triggered state-initiated afforestation efforts, particularly in the 1990s, which continue to be important. More recently, economic development concomitant with smallholder intensification spurred reforestation, while the importance of state forest policy declined. The complexity of local land-use changes demonstrates the difficulty of identifying distinct transition pathways and calls for a more diverse approach that recognizes the interdependence of local processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Simulation of Quaking Aspen Potential Fire Behavior in Northern Utah, USA
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3241-3256; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123241
Received: 14 November 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2134 | PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current understanding of aspen fire ecology in western North America includes the paradoxical characterization that aspen-dominated stands, although often regenerated following fire, are “fire-proof”. We tested this idea by predicting potential fire behavior across a gradient of aspen dominance in northern Utah using [...] Read more.
Current understanding of aspen fire ecology in western North America includes the paradoxical characterization that aspen-dominated stands, although often regenerated following fire, are “fire-proof”. We tested this idea by predicting potential fire behavior across a gradient of aspen dominance in northern Utah using the Forest Vegetation Simulator and the Fire and Fuels Extension. The wind speeds necessary for crowning (crown-to-crown fire spread) and torching (surface to crown fire spread) were evaluated to test the hypothesis that predicted fire behavior is influenced by the proportion of aspen in the stand. Results showed a strong effect of species composition on crowning, but only under moderate fire weather, where aspen-dominated stands were unlikely to crown or torch. Although rarely observed in actual fires, conifer-dominated stands were likely to crown but not to torch, an example of “hysteresis” in crown fire behavior. Results support the hypothesis that potential crown fire behavior varies across a gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather, where it was likely under extreme and severe fire weather, and unlikely under moderate and high fire weather. Furthermore, the “fire-proof” nature of aspen stands broke down across the gradient of aspen dominance and fire weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Three Ideal Point-Based Multi-Criteria Decision Methods for Afforestation Planning
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3222-3240; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123222
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2333 | PDF Full-text (4859 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three ideal point-based multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM), i.e., iterative ideal point thresholding (IIPT), compromise programming (CP) and a newly-proposed CP variant, called balanced compromise programming (BCP), were applied to the Tabacay catchment in Ecuador with the aim of finding a distribution of land [...] Read more.
Three ideal point-based multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM), i.e., iterative ideal point thresholding (IIPT), compromise programming (CP) and a newly-proposed CP variant, called balanced compromise programming (BCP), were applied to the Tabacay catchment in Ecuador with the aim of finding a distribution of land use types (LUT) that optimizes regional land performance. This performance was expressed in terms of several conflicting on-site ecosystem services (ESS), namely water conservation, soil protection, carbon storage and monetary income. IIPT selects the best performing LUT on a per-land unit basis, that is the assignment of a LUT to a land unit is completely independent with respect to other land units. CP and BCP, on the other hand, aim at optimizing the integrated regional performance. These methods produce a LUT distribution that is as close as possible to the absolute optimal performance that would be achieved when conflict among ESS is not considered. In general, similar results were obtained with CP and BCP. This was not the case when the results produced by these two methods were contrasted with IIPT. For most ESS under consideration, CP and BCP produced balanced results that were closer to the absolute optimal values when compared to IIPT. We conclude from our results that, when optimization of land performance at a regional scale is at stake, CP-derived models emerge as the preferable option over IIPT, especially when balanced solutions are a requirement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transformation of a Degraded Pinus massoniana Plantation into a Mixed-Species Irregular Forest: Impacts on Stand Structure and Growth in Southern China
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3199-3221; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123199
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2210 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We transformed a Pinus massoniana plantation, the most important conifer plantation in southern China, with four different transformation treatments, in which Pinus massoniana was thinned to a density of 70%, and then differing richness and compositions of enrichment plantings were added. In order [...] Read more.
We transformed a Pinus massoniana plantation, the most important conifer plantation in southern China, with four different transformation treatments, in which Pinus massoniana was thinned to a density of 70%, and then differing richness and compositions of enrichment plantings were added. In order to examine the effects of the transformation, we compared species composition, stand structure and growth pattern in transformed stands with those in control stands. The results suggested that in the transformed stands species composition was diverse with trees both from the enrichment plantings and from natural recruitment. The size structure was changed such that the diameter at breast height (DBH) distribution tended to shift from a nearly normal distribution to an irregular multi-modal distribution. Substantial new ingrowth was found in the small DBH classes. The residual trees in the transformed stands were significantly larger than in the control treatment. However, for all trees, the control stands had the largest mean size, even though the residual tree growth was significantly smaller in the control stands. Finally, transformation treatment A4, which had the smallest overall mortality rate and simultaneously the mortality rate of each tree species was smaller than the corresponding value in other transformation treatments, was identified as the optimal transformation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating an Automated Approach for Monitoring Forest Disturbances in the Pacific Northwest from Logging, Fire and Insect Outbreaks with Landsat Time Series Data
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3169-3198; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123169
Received: 9 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2691 | PDF Full-text (4446 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests are the largest aboveground sink for atmospheric carbon (C), and understanding how they change through time is critical to reduce our C-cycle uncertainties. We investigated a strong decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 1982 to 1991 in Pacific Northwest forests, [...] Read more.
Forests are the largest aboveground sink for atmospheric carbon (C), and understanding how they change through time is critical to reduce our C-cycle uncertainties. We investigated a strong decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 1982 to 1991 in Pacific Northwest forests, observed with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) series of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs). To understand the causal factors of this decline, we evaluated an automated classification method developed for Landsat time series stacks (LTSS) to map forest change. This method included: (1) multiple disturbance index thresholds; and (2) a spectral trajectory-based image analysis with multiple confidence thresholds. We produced 48 maps and verified their accuracy with air photos, monitoring trends in burn severity data and insect aerial detection survey data. Area-based accuracy estimates for change in forest cover resulted in producer’s and user’s accuracies of 0.21 ± 0.06 to 0.38 ± 0.05 for insect disturbance, 0.23 ± 0.07 to 1 ± 0 for burned area and 0.74 ± 0.03 to 0.76 ± 0.03 for logging. We believe that accuracy was low for insect disturbance because air photo reference data were temporally sparse, hence missing some outbreaks, and the annual anniversary time step is not dense enough to track defoliation and progressive stand mortality. Producer’s and user’s accuracy for burned area was low due to the temporally abrupt nature of fire and harvest with a similar response of spectral indices between the disturbance index and normalized burn ratio. We conclude that the spectral trajectory approach also captures multi-year stress that could be caused by climate, acid deposition, pathogens, partial harvest, thinning, etc. Our study focused on understanding the transferability of previously successful methods to new ecosystems and found that this automated method does not perform with the same accuracy in Pacific Northwest forests. Using a robust accuracy assessment, we demonstrate the difficulty of transferring change attribution methods to other ecosystems, which has implications for the development of automated detection/attribution approaches. Widespread disturbance was found within AVHRR-negative anomalies, but identifying causal factors in LTSS with adequate mapping accuracy for fire and insects proved to be elusive. Our results provide a background framework for future studies to improve methods for the accuracy assessment of automated LTSS classifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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Open AccessArticle Multilevel Governance for Forests and Climate Change: Learning from Southern Mexico
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3147-3168; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123147
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3036 | PDF Full-text (1540 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) involves global and national policy measures as well as effective action at the landscape scale across productive sectors. Multilevel governance (MLG) characterizes policy processes and regimes of cross-scale and cross-sector participation by multiple public and [...] Read more.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) involves global and national policy measures as well as effective action at the landscape scale across productive sectors. Multilevel governance (MLG) characterizes policy processes and regimes of cross-scale and cross-sector participation by multiple public and private actors for improved legitimacy and effectiveness of policy. We examine multilevel, multi-actor engagement in REDD+ planning in Quintana Roo, Mexico, to find out how local perspectives align with the national policy approach to REDD+ as an integrating element of holistic rural development at territorial scale, and how current practices support procedurally legitimate MLG required to implement it. We find that there is wide conceptual agreement on the proposed approach by a variety of involved actors, in rejection of the business-as-usual sectoral interventions. Its implementation, however, is challenged by gaps in horizontal and vertical integration due to strong sectoral identities and hierarchies, and de facto centralization of power at the federal level. Continued participation of multiple government and civil society actors to contribute to social learning for locally appropriate REDD+ actions is likely to require a more balanced distribution of resources and influence across levels. Meaningfully engaging and ensuring the representation of local community interests in the process remains a critical challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Open AccessArticle Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth- and Douglas-Fir Beetle-Caused Mortality in a Ponderosa Pine/Douglas-Fir Forest in the Colorado Front Range, USA
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3131-3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123131
Received: 6 May 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2571 | PDF Full-text (5227 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily [...] Read more.
An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation resulted in significant Douglas-fir mortality in the heavily defoliated stands, leading to a change in dominance to ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Lawson. Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsuqae Hopkins, populations increased following the defoliation event but caused less mortality, and did not differ between heavily and lightly defoliated stands. Douglas-fir tussock moth-related mortality was greatest in trees less than 15 cm dbh (diameter at 1.4 m above the ground) that grew in suppressed and intermediate canopy positions. Douglas-fir beetle-related mortality was greatest in trees larger than 15 cm dbh that grew in the dominant and co-dominant crown positions. Although both insects utilize Douglas-fir as its primary host, stand response to infestation is different. The extensive outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth followed by Douglas-fir beetle activity may be associated with a legacy of increased host type growing in overstocked conditions as a result of fire exclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Bark Beetles and Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Biomass and Volume Yield in Mature Hybrid Poplar Plantations on Temperate Abandoned Farmland
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3107-3130; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123107
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2969 | PDF Full-text (432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we developed clone-specific allometric relationships, with the objective of calculating volume and biomass production after 13 years in 8 poplar plantations, located across an environmental gradient, and composed of 5 unrelated hybrid poplar clones. Allometry was found to be very [...] Read more.
In this study, we developed clone-specific allometric relationships, with the objective of calculating volume and biomass production after 13 years in 8 poplar plantations, located across an environmental gradient, and composed of 5 unrelated hybrid poplar clones. Allometry was found to be very similar for clones MxB-915311, NxM-3729 and DNxM-915508, all having P. maximoviczii parentage. Clones DxN-3570 and TxD-3230 also had a similar allometry; for a given DBH they have a lower stem volume, stem biomass and branch biomass than P. maximoviczii hybrids. Strong Site × Clone interactions were observed for volume and woody biomass growth, with DxN and TxD hybrids only productive on low elevation fertile sites, whereas P. maximovizcii hybrids were also very productive on higher elevation sites with moderate to high soil fertility. At the site level (5 clones mean), yield reached 27.5 and 22.7 m3/ha/yr. on the two best sites (high fertility and low elevation), confirming the great potential of southern Québec (Canada) for poplar culture. The productivity gap between the most and least productive sites has widened from year 8 to year 13, highlighting the need for high quality abandoned farmland site selection in terms of climate and soil fertility. Although clone selection could optimize yield across the studied environmental gradient, it cannot fully compensate for inadequate site selection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dendrochronological Potential in a Semi-Deciduous Rainforest: The Case of Pericopsis elata in Central Africa
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3087-3106; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123087
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2316 | PDF Full-text (3416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The long-lived pioneer species Pericopsis elata is one of the rare tropical timbers on the list of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, supporting the need for accurate and reliable growth data. In one planted and one natural forest in the [...] Read more.
The long-lived pioneer species Pericopsis elata is one of the rare tropical timbers on the list of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, supporting the need for accurate and reliable growth data. In one planted and one natural forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively four and 37 Pericopsis stem disks were collected. The tree-ring series of planted trees were used to confirm annual tree-ring formation. For the natural forest, a tree-ring chronology with 24 stem disks ranged from 1852 up to 2008. This chronology was compared with time-series of local precipitation, resulting in a significant correlation with the second half of the rainy season (September–November). This seasonal precipitation was related with sea surface temperatures of the West Indian Ocean. Higher precipitation during El Niño years corresponded with higher tree-ring indices but differences were not significant. In addition, pointer years were rare and did not have a consistent link with extreme climatic conditions. The existence of annual tree rings encourages further tree-ring analyses of P. elata and other flagship timber species in order to further document climate-growth responses and to provide the long-term framework that is needed for sustainable management planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Importance of Maintaining Upland Forest Habitat Surrounding Salamander Breeding Ponds: Case Study of the Eastern Tiger Salamander in New York, USA
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3070-3086; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123070
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2138 | PDF Full-text (692 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most amphibians use both wetland and upland habitats, but the extent of their movement in forested habitats is poorly known. We used radiotelemetry to observe the movements of adult and juvenile eastern tiger salamanders over a 4-year period. Females tended to move farther [...] Read more.
Most amphibians use both wetland and upland habitats, but the extent of their movement in forested habitats is poorly known. We used radiotelemetry to observe the movements of adult and juvenile eastern tiger salamanders over a 4-year period. Females tended to move farther from the breeding ponds into upland forested habitat than males, while the distance a juvenile moved appeared to be related to body size, with the largest individuals moving as far as the adult females. Individuals chose refugia in native pitch pine—oak forested habitat and avoided open fields, roads, and developed areas. We also observed a difference in potential predation pressures in relation to the distance an individual moved from the edge of the pond. Our results support delineating forested wetland buffer zones on a case-by-case basis to reduce the impacts of concentrated predation, to increase and protect the availability of pitch pine—oak forests near the breeding pond, and to focus primarily on the habitat needs of the adult females and larger juveniles, which in turn will encompass habitat needs of adult males and smaller juveniles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Stand-Class Growth and Yield Model for Mexico’s Northern Temperate, Mixed and Multiaged Forests
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3048-3069; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123048
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2016 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this research was to develop a stand-class growth and yield model based on the diameter growth dynamics of Pinus spp. and Quercus spp. of Mexico’s mixed temperate forests. Using a total of 2663 temporary, circular-sampling plots of 1000 m2 [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to develop a stand-class growth and yield model based on the diameter growth dynamics of Pinus spp. and Quercus spp. of Mexico’s mixed temperate forests. Using a total of 2663 temporary, circular-sampling plots of 1000 m2 each, nine Weibull distribution techniques of parameter estimation were fitted to the diameter structures of pines and oaks. Statistical equations using stand attributes and the first three moments of the diameter distribution predicted and recovered the Weibull parameters. Using nearly 1200 and 100 harvested trees for pines and oaks, respectively, I developed the total height versus diameter at breast height relationship by fitting three non-linear functions. The Newnham model predicted stem taper and numerical integration was done to estimate merchantable timber volume for all trees in the stand for each diameter class. The independence of the diameter structures of pines and oaks was tested by regressing the Weibull parameters and projecting diameter structures. The model predicts diameter distributions transition from exponential (J inverse), logarithmic to well-balanced distributions with increasing mean stand diameter at breast height. Pine diameter distributions transition faster and the model predicts independent growth rates between pines and oaks. The stand-class growth and yield model must be completed with the diameter-age relationship for oaks in order to carry a full optimization procedure to find stand density and genera composition to maximize forest growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enrichment of Logging Gaps with a High Conservation Value Species (Pericopsis elata) in a Central African Moist Forest
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3031-3047; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123031
Received: 4 November 2014 / Revised: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2196 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To achieve long-term sustainability, there is a need for enrichment methods combining low [...] Read more.
In central Africa, most of the timber species require high light at the seedling stage for survival and growth. Forest managers face a regeneration shortage of these light-demanding timber species. To achieve long-term sustainability, there is a need for enrichment methods combining low cost and high species performance. The aim of this study was to assess the performance of Pericopsis elata seedlings in enriched logging gaps in Cameroon. Over five years; the survival and size of each seedling was monitored in 27 logging gaps that were either left without maintenance or cleared. Gaps were relatively small with an average total area of 155 m2. We found that planted seedlings of P. elata performed well in logging gaps. Even without any maintenance 61% of the planted seedlings survived after five years with an average annual diameter increment of 0.28 cm. P. elata appeared to be a good candidate species for enrichment in logging gaps. We demonstrated that the seedlings of P. elata tolerated a wide range of soil conditions but that their performance was strongly influenced by light availability (gap clearance), suggesting potentially improved performance of P. elata in high light environments such as in plantation or larger gaps. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Current Challenges and Perspectives for Governing Forest Restoration
Forests 2014, 5(12), 3022-3030; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5123022
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2847 | PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which [...] Read more.
Negotiation, reconciliation of multiple scales through both ecological and social dimensions and minimization of power imbalances are considered critical challenges to overcome for effective governance of forest restoration. Finding the right mix of “command and control” in forest restoration vs. “environmental governance”, which includes non-state actors, regulatory flexibility, and market based instruments is at the heart of these challenges. This Special Issue attempts at shedding light on these challenges with case studies from South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. Some provide within-country as well as cross-country comparisons. A few others present case studies at the household level. Both policy and legal constraints towards implementing forest restoration are also discussed as a function of top down vs. bottom up approaches. The effectiveness of payments for environmental services is examined as catalyzers of forest restoration initiatives. Finally, two papers deal with the legal and policy constraints in making restoration through natural regeneration a viable and cost-effective tool. In the face of renewed perspectives for expanding forest restoration programs globally, governance issues will likely play a key role in eventually determining success. As many of the papers in this Special Issue suggest, the fate of forest restoration outcomes is, more often than not, associated with overall governance challenges, some of which are often overlooked particularly across multiple scales. Full article
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Open AccessArticle From Co-Management to Landscape Governance: Whither Ghana’s Modified Taungya System?
Forests 2014, 5(12), 2996-3021; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5122996
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3299 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural resource management literature has documented three paradigm shifts over the past decade: from co-management to adaptive co-management and adaptive governance respectively and, more recently, towards landscape governance. The latter is conceived as a governance approach towards negotiated land use at the landscape [...] Read more.
Natural resource management literature has documented three paradigm shifts over the past decade: from co-management to adaptive co-management and adaptive governance respectively and, more recently, towards landscape governance. The latter is conceived as a governance approach towards negotiated land use at the landscape level to deal with global challenges such as food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss. There is not a lot of clarity about how co-management systems could actually evolve into landscape governance. This paper aims to address the gap by exploring how a stalled co-management system for the reforestation of degraded forest areas—the modified taungya system (MTS) in Ghana—could be revitalised and redesigned as a landscape approach. Drawing on case studies and expert consultation, the performance of the national MTS and the MTS under the Community Forestry Management Project is reviewed with regard to five principles (integrated approach, multi-stakeholder negotiation, polycentric governance, continual learning and adaptive capacity) and three enabling conditions (social capital, bridging organisations and long-term funding) distilled from the literature. The authors conclude that some of these principles and conditions were met under the Community Forestry Management Project, but that continual learning, transcending jurisdictional boundaries, developing adaptive capacity, and long-term funding and benefits still pose challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Open AccessArticle Former Land Use and Host Genotype Influence the Mycorrhizal Colonization of Poplar Roots
Forests 2014, 5(12), 2980-2995; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5122980
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2343 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present paper analyses the community structure of ectomycorrhiza (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi associated with seven different poplar clone types growing in a patch system on soil from four different former land use types, originating from spruce forest, poplar stand, grassland [...] Read more.
The present paper analyses the community structure of ectomycorrhiza (ECM) and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi associated with seven different poplar clone types growing in a patch system on soil from four different former land use types, originating from spruce forest, poplar stand, grassland and cornfield. We determined the extent to which ECM and AM play a role on the studied factors (genotype, former land use type and host growth). The diversity of ECM and AM fungal communities was estimated by morphological and molecular analyses of the 18S and ITS of the rDNA genes. Fifteen ECM fungal taxa and four AM groups were distinguished in the roots of the poplars grown for 18 months on soil originating from the respective land use types. The poplar clones showed significantly different rates of shoot length and AM colonization, especially concerning the occurrence of Glomus intraradices and Scutellospora sp. Populus deltoides had significantly higher Scutellospora sp. abundance. Although ECM abundance and diversity was high, no significant differences between the different land use types was found. However, some ECM fungi like Paxillus involutus, Laccaria proxima and Laccaria tortilis showed significant preferences for specific land use types. Our findings suggest that both factors, former land use type and poplar genotype, are important determinants of mycorrhizal colonization of the host plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycorrhizal Fungi of Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Direct Application of Fertilizers and Hydrogel on the Establishment of Poplar Cuttings
Forests 2014, 5(12), 2967-2979; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5122967
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2042 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of poplar plantations is to achieve high biomass production over a short rotation period. This requires low mortality and fast development of the transplants. The experiment described in this paper examines methods aimed at enhancing survival and development of Populus trichocarpa [...] Read more.
The aim of poplar plantations is to achieve high biomass production over a short rotation period. This requires low mortality and fast development of the transplants. The experiment described in this paper examines methods aimed at enhancing survival and development of Populus trichocarpa plants by application of fertilizers, a hydrogel or a combination of both to dormant cuttings just before planting. The experiment was carried out at two agricultural sites with different soil characteristics, a loamy sand and a silty loam. It was demonstrated that none of the treatments influenced survival or early growth at the silty loam soil site, and plant development was delayed by the solid fertilizer. At the site with loamy sand, the solid fertilizer negatively affected both survival and early growth. Hydrogel and the combination of hydrogel and the solid fertilizer also hampered early growth. Overall, treatments of poplar cuttings with hydrogel or fertilizers alone, or in combination, may not be a method to reduce poplar cutting mortality or to enhance early plant development on agricultural land. However, our results demonstrate that establishing poplar with cuttings as transplants can be used on both loamy sand and silty loam soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of a Wildfire on Selected Physical, Chemical and Biochemical Soil Properties in a Pinus massoniana Forest in South China
Forests 2014, 5(12), 2947-2966; https://doi.org/10.3390/f5122947
Received: 1 September 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3006 | PDF Full-text (338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pinus massoniana forests bordering South China are often affected by wildfires. Fires cause major changes in soil properties in many forest types but little is known about the effects of fire on soil properties in these P. massoniana forests. Such knowledge is important [...] Read more.
Pinus massoniana forests bordering South China are often affected by wildfires. Fires cause major changes in soil properties in many forest types but little is known about the effects of fire on soil properties in these P. massoniana forests. Such knowledge is important for providing a comprehensive understanding of wildfire effects on soil patterns and for planning appropriate long-term forest management in these forests. Changes in soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzymes were investigated in a P. massoniana forest along a wildfire-induced time span consisting of an unburned soil, and soils 0, one, four, and seven years post-fire. Soil (0–10 cm) was collected from burned and unburned sites immediately and one, four, and seven years after a wildfire. The wildfire effects on soil physical and chemical properties and enzyme activities were significantly different among treatment variation, time variation, and treatment-by-time interaction. Significant short-term effects on soil physical, chemical, and biological properties were found, which resulted in a deterioration of soil physical properties by increasing soil bulk density and decreasing macropores and capillary moisture. Soil pH increased significantly in the soil one-year post-fire. Carbon, total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), and available N and P increased significantly immediately and one year after the wildfire and decreased progressively to concentrations lower than in the unburned soil. Total potassium (K) and exchangeable K increased immediately after the wildfire and then continuously decreased along the burned time-span. Urease, acid phosphatase, and catalase activities significantly decreased compared to those in the unburned soil. In fire-prone P. massoniana forests, wildfires may significantly influence soil physical properties, carbon, nutrients, and enzyme activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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